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Large mixed-use apartment, office, and retail project proposed in quiet part of Downtown Boise

A large new mixed-use development is proposed for the edge of Downtown Boise along the Boise River, according to documents filed with the City of Boise earlier this month.

The 27th and Fairview Apartments, with retail, office, and residential components, would span seven parcels in an area the city and a developer once eyed for a development anchored by a ballpark. The ballpark never happened, but now a different developer hopes to bring new life to the area.

The project sits along Fairview Ave. at the Boise River, and would take up nearly five acres, with the Interstate 184 Connector to the south.

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The proposal

27th and Fairview Apartments
A rendering of the project’s elevation as viewed from the south. Via Slichter Ugrin Architecture
  • Three buildings
    • Two apartment/retail buildings
      • West building, seven stories, 295,000 square feet
        • Ground-floor: retail (7,000 square feet) and parking
        • Second-floor: parking
        • Floors three-through-seven: apartments – 156 units
      • East building, seven stories, 426,000 square feet
        • Ground floor: retail (33,500 square feet) and parking
        • Second-floor: parking
        • Floors three-through-seven: apartments – 202 units
    • Office building: four stories, 43,200 square feet
      • Three floors of 11,700 square feet of office space
      • Fourth floor 8,000 square feet with rooftop deck
      • Immediately next to Boise River Greenbelt

In total, the 27th & Fairview Apartments would include 358 new apartment homes, with 129 one-bedroom, 199 two-bedroom and 30 three-bedroom units. That’s a total of 617 total bedrooms.

The project would include a total of 464 vehicle parking spaces to serve the apartment, retail, and office space. The plan also calls for space for 367 bikes – the city requires 358 slots.

The developer also proposes to extend Whitewater Park Blvd. through the site and connect it to Fletcher St. Whitewater (formerly known as 30th St.) currently ends at Fairview Ave. A skybridge would connect the east and west apartments over the new road section.

The project plan calls for an extension of the Boise River Greenbelt to connect it with Fairview Ave.

For the apartments, the developer proposes amenities for residents.

“Amenities provided for the use of residents are community gathering spaces with indoor workout gym, business center and storage units,” Jay Gibbons with South, Beck and Baird Landscape Architecture wrote in an application letter. “The storage units are an amenity for the sole benefit of the residents and are not a commercial venture and are not visible from the street.”

The plan also calls for Downtown-style streetscapes with trees and furniture.

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Former EPA Brownfield

Map of project area (in pink) and other property owners in the vicinity. BoiseDev graphic

The project sits on parcels of land owned in part by DY Boise River, LLC, controlled by Dan Yanke of Boise, and LGD Ventures, controlled by Darren Goldberg of San Diego.

A former Midas Auto Care building stands on the site owned by LGD. The parcels owned by Yanke used to house the Goodman Oil Company from the 1920s until 2009. That site was a former EPA brownfield, and the subject of $730,000 in fines in 2009 from the EPA according to a report from The Blue Review.

The application says that any hazards still on the property are “Unknown.”

“Property once housed an oil company, so hazards may be identified and remediated as necessary,” the application notes.

Zoned for the project

27th and fairview Boise
Rendering of the proposed 27th & Fairview Apartments. Via Slichter Ugrin Architecture

The City of Boise zoned the property C-5DD, which it describes as allowing for “activities conducive to a compact and concentrated urban downtown mixed-used center.” C-5 is the same zoning in place for the core of Downtown Boise. The project is also in the 30th Street Urban Renewal District, and the city’s adopted plan for the site calls for a mixed-use activity center.

The 27th & Fairview Apartments project will not need approval from the planning and zoning commission, and approval will come at an administrative level according to the application. The project will need to win design review approval, and a hearing is set for February 10th, 2021 at Boise City Hall at 6pm. The hearing is both in-person and virtual. Due to limitations with the City of Boise’s new online planning system, we can’t link you directly to the hearing notice – but if you click this link, then click the documents tab, then click on page 10, then click “PDS-Legal Notice – DR_HYBRID MEETING LEGAL NOTICE 2-10-2021,” you will find hearing information.

Growing area

The project is the second large-scale mixed-use concept proposed in the area. Boise’s Roundhouse proposed to build about 400 apartments and 70,000 square feet of retail space on the opposite corner on the site that once proposed for the ballpark. That project – dubbed Whitewater and Main – has not yet moved forward to the application stage. Roundhouse principal Casey Lynch said they are working on tackling the project in phases and hope to have the northwest corner of the site “off the ground before year by year-end.”

The general area has seen recent commercial growth and improvements – though primarily downriver in Garden City. On the Boise side, the new Esther Simplot Park and Boise Whitewater Park added additional activity to the area and Boise River Greenbelt. The Boise side of the river to the south of the park remains largely undeveloped, with large surface lots and a stalled campus for College of Western Idaho.

A large new hospital facility owned by St. Luke’s Health System sits across 27th St. from the site and is nearing competition.

Stadium developer Greenstone properties purchased the land under the Symposion bar, immediately to the south of the 27th & Fairview proposal. After the ballpark concept fell apart, it listed the property for sale a year ago this week.

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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