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Micro-apartments proposed overlooking Boise Towne Square

A developer hopes to build a series of small micro-apartments overlooking Boise Towne Square Mall.

CCD Properties asked to build a new complex with 71 apartments on a small parcel of land at 709 N. Cole Rd., near the intersection with Emerald St. The property sits behind a small commercial center on the SW corner of Emerald and Cole.

The apartments would range from 338 square feet for a studio option to 542 square feet for a one-bedroom, according to floorpans submitted to the City of Boise.

In an application letter from ALC Architecture, significant details is provided around pricing for the product.

[Decaying Boise gym torn down to make way for large apartment complex]

“Low-cost” micro units

“The landowner/developer wishes to provide low-cost, micro-unit apartment development that will create naturally occurring work force and affordable housing,” Eric Anderson with ALC wrote. “Some of the renters that will be attracted to this development are currently making incomes at or below the city of Boise median income of $74,800 per year. A single renter in the city of Boise making 80% of the median income level represents $41,900 per year. If the renter wishes to spend approximately 30% of their annual income on rent, that translates to a monthly rent of $1,048 per month.”

The math appears to conflate the median income for a household in Boise with median income for a single person. The household median for Boise stands at $60,035 using 2019 numbers, while the median for a single person is $31,508, according to US Census data compiled by Google.

The letter indicates the developer hopes to price the studio units at or near the $1,050/month level and “slightly higher” for the one-bedroom units.

The site plan for a proposed apartment complex on N. Cole Rd. near Emerald St. Via ALC Architecture

“This project is centrally positioned with retail, restaurants and entertainment amenities within close proximity, which will be a significant attraction for this project,” Anderson wrote. “Additionally, the abundant public transportation options and short commute into downtown Boise corridor and surrounding employment areas offer a significant opportunity for residents to enjoy these amenities without having to endure the annual rent of a more expensive development in the core Downtown Boise market.”

The apartment units would line the Ridenbaugh Canal on the triangular parcel. The surrounded on all sides by parking – a total of 71 spaces, one for each apartment.

The project represents a piece of infill development surrounding Boise Towne Square, which first opened in 1988. The area surrounding the mall still contains a number of empty parcels in an area that still contains a few single-family homes in a part of town that was once used for agriculture uses.

[Vintage video shows Boise Towne Square at 1988 opening]

The applicant is asking to change an existing development agreement with the City of Boise for the parcel, allowing the apartment complex to rise to a total of 60 feet high and allow the residential use on the site.

The project will go before the Boise Planning & Zoning Commission on February 1st at 6pm, in person at Boise City Hall, or via an online virtual forum.

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 [email protected].

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