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Iconic downtown building gets billionaire new owner

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Hendricks Commercial Properties snapped up another high-profile building in Downtown Boise: The Hoff Building.

We first told you the 90-year-old art deco building went up for sale last fall. Hendricks completed the purchase early this year.

“Honestly it was one of the first buildings in town that I really really liked,” Hendricks Commercial Properties CEO Rob Gerbitz said. “I love the location. it’s really an iconic building that fits well in our portfolio of buildings we like to have.”

That Boise portfolio continues to grow for the Beloit, Wisconsin company. In the last few years, it purchased Bodo, The Owyhee and Jefferson Place.

Hendricks Commercial Properties’ portfolio in Downtown Boise continues to grow. BoiseDev map based upon property record research

Owned by billionaire Diane Hendricks, HCP develops projects in a smattering of communities around the country. Hendricks is the nation’s second-richest self-made woman, according to a 2017 New York Times profile of her work in Beloit.

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Paddles Up Poke

Hendricks first purchased a large portion of the Bodo complex on 8th Street in Boise in late 2017. So far, the company mostly operated it under the status quo – but company CEO Rob Gerbitz told BoiseDev last year the company plans a large-scale overhaul of the project.

Last year, the company bought The Owyhee and two related parcels in the area. Gerbitz outlined future plans for a boutique hotel in the area.

Small changes ahead for The Hoff

Hendricks purchased the building from a Seattle-based group. Gerbitz said the deal came together late last year.

“We’re proud to own it. We want to own it and do it right,” he said.

For The Hoff, small changes are ahead.

“We’re going to start laying out some remodeling plans,” Gerbitz said. “We are going to keep the uses that we have – it’s great for office. We’re just going to upgrade the interiors and office spaces and modernize them.  Some of them are a little bit dated.”

He said the redevelopment plan will stay simple, but they plan visible upgrades.

“I think you’ll see some visual changes,” he said. “We have some work to to do to the exterior – some windows and some repairs and some upgrades. We’ll do our research into the history of the building as we plan.”

Deep Boise history

Hotel Boise. Via Preservation Idaho

Construction crews built the Hotel Boise building in 1930 with art deco designs from famed Boise firm Tourtellotte & Hummel. It operated as a 100-room hotel for 46 years, when the Hoff Lumber Company purchased the building. The company brought about big changes – changing the name to match the company, converting it from hotel space to offices, removing the large “HOTEL BOISE” sign atop the building, and adding two floors to the top, including a rooftop restaurant.

The hotel building was the second tallest building in Boise when it first opened, behind only the Idaho Statehouse. It wasn’t eclipsed until the Bank of Idaho (now Key Bank) building went up in 1963.

Today, the Hoff is the 10th tallest building downtown.

In the decades since, the building served scores of office tenants, as well as the Crystal Ballroom, banks, and retail. The restaurant space – once known as Top of the Hoff and the Radio Room is now used as office space.

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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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