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19-story condo tower planned for Downtown Boise

A former city council member hopes to build a new condo tower in Downtown Boise.

Scot Ludwig said he will submit an application with the City of Boise for a new 19-story condominium tower on a parcel of land he owns in Downtown Boise.

The London would sprout up at the corner of 5th Street and Broad Street. Ludwig originally proposed to build two buildings, connected by a skybridge across Broad St. Earlier this year, he sold one of the two properties to another developer – Roundhouse – and said at the time he might rework the project to feature a single tower.

“It’s a gorgeous architectural building, finally, in Downtown Boise,” Ludwig told BoiseDev of the revised concept. “I think this will be a great addition to the skyline.”

Interior rendering of a condo unit looking NW toward the Boise Foothills. Via Hummel Architects

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Condos in Downtown Boise

Here’s what the proposal calls for:

  • 44 condominium units, with most around 2,000 square feet. The top floor would feature two-story penthouse units.
  • An elevator parking system. The building would include space for 192 cars, which would serve tenants in the building, as well as a building Ludwig partially owns next door. More on this below.
  • An indoor/outdoor amenity level with yoga studio, fitness center, outdoor terrace and rentable guest suites.
  • A series of four live/work units along the ground and second floors, facing 5th St.
  • An exterior “cascading steps” feature would connect the 7th-floor amenity deck to a series of outdoor terraces above the live-work units.

Building renderings show a series of high-end finishes, with balconies on each of the residential levels with glass railings and wood finishes. The tower portion of the building would step back slightly from the lower levels. The tower design shows an alternating pattern of glass and a metal skin.

As a condo project, each of the individual units would be sold to individual owners. While a number of residential projects popped up in Downtown Boise in recent years – most have provided apartment units for rent. The last high-rise condo building to open in Boise was the Aspen Lofts at 8th and Front St., which work crews completed in 2009.

“There’s a niche for very nice fee simple condos in downtown. It’ll be the first project like this and I think Boise’s evolved economically and it seems like there is real buyer pressure in downtown.”

Automated parking

A site plan for the ground floor of The London shows configuration of the building’s automated parking system.

Ludwig expressed enthusiasm about parking for the building.

“The cool think about it is it’s an elevator garage,” he said. “The cars aren’t on, there is no exhaust – you don’t have to design it like a parking garage with ramps and driveways.”

Using technology from Utron Parking, cars would enter the building along an alley way between Front St. and Broad St. Drivers would use a keyed-entry system and enter one of three elevator bays, then exit their car. The system would then hoist the vehicle to an available space in one of the building’s four parking levels. When someone wants their vehicle, they go back to the ground floor kiosk and the car is delivered back to the elevator. A driver gets in and drives away.

Ludwig said the robotic garage piece allowed him to revamp the project without the second building and skybridge.

“It was the ability to add that robotic garage and that environmental piece let us get rid of that south building and the three levels of concrete across Broad St.,” he said.

[New downtown building would feature stackable car parking system]

The parking “cube” itself on the third through sixth levels would include a “translucent panel system” with backlighting. A memo provided to BoiseDev from project architect Hummel Architects says the floors will feature backlighting which will “make the cube glow at night creating a warming lantern effect and highlighting the movement and activity of the automated system within.”

The London Boise
A rendering of the building from the corner of 5th St. and Broad St. in Downtown Boise. Via Hummel Architects

The parcel for the building currently carries a C-5DD zone, which is the city’s code for the central business district. Its the most-dense zoning classification in Boise, and allows for unlimited height without any special exceptions. The project would need to obtain design review approval.

Ludwig said he hopes to get the project through the approval process, then work with another developer to finance and construct the finished building.

Correction: an earlier version of this story misstated the height of the building due to a figure on a construction drawing that was misleading. Because of the incorrect height figure, our appraisal of it as the tallest building in the state was not correct and has been removed.

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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