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Boise to buy remaining ‘Smoky Davis’ property for affordable housing

Future of Downtown
City Council Tuesday with Margaret Carmel

The City of Boise will buy the former site of Smoky Davis in Boise, with plans for affordable housing.

The long-standing restaurant and meat shop closed in 2018, and crews tore it down to make way for improvements to State St. According to KTVB, the property owners sued the Ada County Highway District over the value of the portion of land the agency took to widen the road.

On Tuesday, Boise City Council unanimously approved the purchase of a roughly one-acre parcel at the corner of State Street and Arthur Street near the intersection of Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. If the city closes on the sale in November, it will be the third site purchased with the potential for inclusion in the city’s Housing Land Trust to build mixed-use, mixed-income housing developments. 

The former Smoky Davis. Courtesy ACHD.

The city said it would purchase the land from Gary L. and Dee S. Davis for $765,000. A memo announcing the purchase said the city will put out a request for proposals for site developers. The memo also says the city plans an “extensive” public engagement process. It didn’t outline what type of housing will be on the site, when it will be built or how the city will finance the project.

KTVB reported the Davis’ settled with ACHD for $1.8 million.

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This is the city’s third land purchase in the past year for the construction of housing. The first was the purchase of a 4.7-acre parcel at the intersection of Franklin and Orchard Streets in 2019, which will be developed into 210 affordable housing units adjacent to Franklin Park by Utah-based company J. Fischer. 

[New details outlined for affordable housing at Franklin & Orchard site: retail, walk-ups, food trucks]

The third parcel purchase by the city is located further to the northwest at 5122 W State Street.

The city’s move to develop housing on State Street aligns with recent city goals to increase housing density in the area to support more public transportation along the major artery bringing commuters from the western part of the Treasure Valley into downtown Boise. In 2019, the city increased frequency and hours of buses running along State Street and have ambitious plans to create a bus rapid transit system in the area.

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Margaret Carmel
Margaret is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at margaret@boisedev.com or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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