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No stadium for downtown Boise, but big new project proposed in its place

Greenstone Properties hoped to build a stadium and mixed-use development in Downtown Boise. The project fell apart. But now, the owner of the land on Whitewater Park Blvd. plans its own project in its place.

Roundhouse, formerly known as LocalConstruct, tells BoiseDev they plan to build a new mixed-use project on the large site they own in the area bound by Main St., 27th St., Fairview Ave. and Whitewater Park.

“We’ll have a really nice pedestrian-oriented experience with ground-level retail and dining and apartments above,” Roundhouse CEO Casey Lynch said.

Roundhouse recently purchased the site of a closed US Bank branch at the corner of Fairview and 27th. That will allow them to expand the project’s footprint and realign internal roads on the site.

New road grid

“We are required to build a road extension from Main to Fairview as part of our development agreement with the city,” Lynch said. “With the added land, it allows us to build the extension as 28th street instead of 29th. It will be a straight-line from Main to Fairview.”

Whitewater and Main Boise
Aerial rendering looking northwest toward the foothills. Via SB Architects

Roundhouse acquired the site in a trade with the City of Boise for a future park site on Cole Rd. The road requirement helped make the value of the two parcels “equal,” as required by Idaho law.

Lynch said his firm also plans to build a new east-west street for the project, dubbed Whitewater & Main.

“The concept is to create a ‘high street’ along the east-west connection from Whitewater to the new 28th St.,” he said.

The project will include 400 new apartment units in several buildings, with roughly 70,000 feet of retail space. Buildings will reach as high as six stories.

The project will include what he called “appropriate parking,” with some surface parking along streets, as well as a large parking garage.

Roundhouse Boise
Roundhouse’s land in Boise’s west downtown area. The company hopes to realign the blue road easement to match 28th St. It recently acquired the US Bank site to the east of the site. BoiseDev graphic

“We could do a lower cost, lower density project, but that’s not in anyone’s interest.”

Whitewater & Main: a growing corner

Boise’s west downtown continues to grow. The new Esther Simplot Park is just a stone’s throw from the site. A possible College of Western Idaho campus sits across the street. St. Luke’s is building a large new hospital a few blocks away. Not to mention all the projects along the river in Garden City.

“The idea is to have enough scale in this one location that you can drive traffic to this part of downtown,” Lynch said. “With retail plus residential users, you need to create a holistic sense of place.”

Bullish on Boise

Lynch said the firm’s experience with The Fowler, and the under-construction Cartee encouraged them to keep developing in Boise.

“Obviously, the Folwer is successful – but that’s still a really small sample size. We think there’s more demand in the market for that housing, but it’s unknown how deep that demand goes.

He thinks Boise will be a good market going forward.

“Boise has a lot of good things going for it. Both in its natural characteristics and its downtown area. It has a progressive-minded public sector that understands land use and planning and development and has mostly the right ideas. That’s good for us and it’s going to create a more-livable environment going forward.”

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at don@boisedev.com.

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