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A tower, or two? Two downtown developers look at projects along Broad St.

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Will two new towers connected by a skybridge still go up in Downtown Boise? According to project developer Scot Ludwig, maybe.

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  • 5th & Broad Apartments

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Ludwig sold one of the two pieces of land at 5th St. and Broad St. to another developer, Roundhouse, but says he still has an option to buy the property back.

“On my project, I have the right to continue to develop the south piece, and we have been working on that since the beginning of the year,” Ludwig said.

Roundhouse recently snapped up another property on the block, and owns all but two properties between 4th, 5th, Broad and Myrtle Streets.

Ludwig said he could still build the double tower project with a skybridge over Broad St. – but is looking at another idea.

Roundhouse now owns all the parcels outlined in yellow on the block between Myrtle, Broad, 4th and 5th in Boise.

Taller, with an elevator

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“On the north parcel, it’s got unlimited height zoning. We’ve added about four to five floors of residential.”

To make that work, the building could include elevator parking. It would alleviate the need for the skybridge – and the entire southern building.

“We’d like to develop the residential tower of 15 floors on (the north parcel),” Ludwig said. But if we can’t get the elevator garage to be financially feasible, we’ll go forward with both buildings.”

If Ludwig doesn’t develop the south tower, Roundhouse’s ownership gives it a significant piece of land in the area.

“We wanted to make sure if we didn’t develop the south parcel (Roundhouse) would have the opportunity to develop it because they’re a quality developer,” Ludwig said.

Roundhouse bulks up on 5th

Casey Lunch, Roundhouse’s CEO remain tight-lipped on the new land purchase. Each of the properties is owned under an entity called the Saltbox Project. The sites sit directly across from Roundhouse’s Fowler apartments.

In an interview with BoiseDev earlier this spring on another project the company hopes to take on in West Downtown, Lynch said the company remains bullish on Boise.

[LA-based developer with large Boise presence rebrands]

“Boise has a lot of good things going for it. Both in its natural characteristics and its downtown area,” he said in March. “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.”

For Ludwig’s project – either one tower or two, he hopes to start soon.

“In a beautiful world, we’ll be under construction next spring,” he said.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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