Boise’s 8th Street Marketplace neighborhood – also known as Bodo – has seen cycles of boom and bust over the last 40 or so years.
At the moment, the area lacks hustle and bustle. A string of closures left many storefronts empty, though some are part of a long-term revamp plan.
In recent weeks, lunch spot Tasso, smoothie/flatbread shop Fresh Healthy Cafe and Ha’Penny Bridge Irish Pub closed. Clothing retailers White House | Black Market and LOFT as well as fitness studio UP Cycle closed earlier this year.
Mix in many closed offices during the pandemic, and you could hear a pin drop in the middle of 8th St. and Broad St. But the area could soon come alive again.
Part of the changes are driven by a change in approach from the new owners of the Bodo pieces of the neighborhood. Owned by Hendricks Commercial Properties, the company started work on a significant revamp of at least one of the buildings it owns in the center. The early-2000s-era suburban shopping center aesthetic will give way to a historic-inspired look.
A large area consisting of the former LOFT, UP Cycle and two other retail spaces will become a new food hall known as The Warehouse. That project will incorporate The STIL and Caffe d’Arte, as well as other small restaurant tenants not yet announced. A large open seating area will round out the space, as well as outdoor patio seating along 8th Street. When open, the food hall will feature as many as 22 food vendors.
Hendricks CEO Rob Gerbitz told BoiseDev the food hall concept would expand even further, into a portion of the current Office Depot.
“We are basically moving around the entire building,” he said. “It will be more of a food hall-centric (building).”
A revamp of the exterior or the building should start “soon,” and has seen delays related to the pandemic this year.
Change to the theater?
The Edwards Regal cinema could stay in place, Gerbitz said, but he hopes to see it upgraded.
“Our best day is they get through the pandemic and (revamp) the theater and put it into today’s standards – that’s what we want,” he said. “If not, we want to work with more boutique theater owners and reconnect into what is more of a boutique experience.”
He noted that a new Living Room Theaters concept will open in a development Hendricks is working on in Indianpolis.
“It’s spectacular. I’ve never been in a theater like this,” Gerbitz said. “They don’t have nine screens – they have five. Every seat has a massage feature, heats up – table with food in front of you. We’d like to do that if Edwards stays as well.”
PF Chang’s & retail
On the west side of Broad Street, the PF Chang’s restaurant will remain. Though Gerbitz said he likes to focus on local and regional tenants, the restaurant’s owners committed to an upgrade to their latest interior branding concept.
“PF Chang’s is going to do their next version remodel,” he said. “They really showed a commitment to it and I think that’s fine.”
He said he hopes the other open commercial spaces along Broad St. will fill up with boutique-type retail tenants.
“It would be nice to bring in some smaller boutique-type retail,” he said. “That’s a hard tenant in the first place – retail is in a bit of an apocalypse of what it’s going to be over the next two to five years. I believe the small, smart, great product retailers with good service – could be at the golden age of retail. If you don’t have great service and a great product, they’re in trouble.”
Gerbitz said they don’t currently have plans to revamp the building anchored by PF Chang’s, partially because it has multiple owners due to second floor office condos.
Ha’Penny out, Deluca’s in
Across Broad St., Boise-base Hawkins Companies owns the building anchored by the Knitting Factory and Bonefish Grill.
Earlier this year, Ha’Penny Bridge Irish Pub closed its doors. In its place, new ownership will open Deluca’s, which describes itself as “fancy so you don’t have to be.”
State of Idaho business filings indicate Deluca’s is owned by NYC&ID – controlled by Alex Deluca and Jerry Miller. The pair also own Garden City’s Barrehlouse. An attempt to reach them for comment was not returned.
Across the alley, at the SW corner of 8th and Broad, lunch sandwich joint Tasso closed in September after about two years. In a social media post, owners said it would reopen in a new location, but BoiseDev is unable to locate a permit for a new spot. The owner of that building, City of Many Trees LLC has the space for lease.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said Hawkins Companies owned the space vacated by Tasso. It is owned by City of Many Trees.