Dozens of properties in Garden City near 34th Street once part of an ambitious proposal for a mixed-use transformation of the area are under new ownership.
Urban Willow LLC, a partnership between developers Hannah Ball and Richard Phillips, made waves in 2018 with big plans to revitalize a swath of Garden City along the Boise River. Garden City approved Urban Willow’s proposal for a Specific Area Plan including townhomes, mixed-use buildings, underground parking, parklets, plazas and other features.
But, now one of Urban Willow’s partners says the company is dissolving and the company sold off all of its parcels to new owners last month.
Urban Willow no longer involved
Ball said the properties sold in clusters to eight different buyers and going forward her company will not have any stake in the 34th Street redevelopment. She said the plans put together by Urban Willow were early stage planning for the project and it would take a builder to make the dream a reality.
“The happy side of that is now we have eight new wonderful groups that are coming back in that are taking that preliminary phase and getting it to the construction phase,” she said, about the sale. “These groups now will be working on the entitlements, working with the city and taking my 30% to get it to 100% completion.”
This follows a “disagreement” between Ball and Phillips in 2019, which resulted in Phillips asking Garden City to rescind approval for the 34th Street plan and not recognize Ball as a partner in the project. Phillips did not return a message left at his business Monday.
Ball said she personally will retain ownership of 215 E. 34th as her office. She also hopes to use the property to support operations of a Garden City Farmer’s Market on 34th Street in the future. Ball said she plans to submit an application for a conditional use permit for the farmer’s market to Garden City this week.
Urban Willow is also selling the building with Roots Market on Chinden Boulevard. Ball said she is emotionally invested in the concept of the zero-waste grocery store, but she had to sell. She declined to say who will be the new owner of the market, but it will continue to lease space in the building and operate as normal.
Who are the buyers?
Ball confirmed the sales, but said she had several NDAs signed with buyers preventing her from sharing the names of the purchasers and anything about their plans.
Property transfer records in Ada County shed some light on some of the buyers. 36th Spokane LLC, owned by Spokane Realtor Jordan Tampien, purchased three parcels from Urban Willow. Tampien said this includes plans for 24 long-term rental units on 305-309 34th Street and a new location for Brickwest Brewing across the street. He estimates the rents will range from $1,150 and $1,650 for the one and two-bedroom apartments. There will be some short-term rental units above the brewery.
Tampien also recently purchased the Old Dutch Goose restaurant.
“We’re from Spokane and (the 34th Street area) looks a lot like an area like Kendell Yards in Spokane because it’s near the river and it has that natural resource,” Tampien said.
Mike Bulick, president of Mako Consulting Corp. in San Diego, purchased two of the parcels in December. In a phone interview, he did not say which parcels he bought or what his plans are, but he thinks Garden City is “cool.” He purchased the parcels after a visit to a hotel nearby.
“I don’t think I have anything to comment on,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s not like I’m a big developer and I have big plans for it. They’re little tiny lots, you know. I have no idea. I just acquired them.”
Clovision Holdings LLC, which is part-owned by Boise-based dentist Troy Clovis, purchased 108 E 33rd Street. The company is tentatively planning a small, mixed-use project with a street-front commercial space and four residential housing units in the rear, according to Clovision Holdings’ representative Georgina Baronian.
“We’re hopeful that the project will contribute to the burgeoning Garden City Arts District and bring an increased vibrancy to the area,” Baronian said in an email. “The design itself aims to honor the existing industrial character of Garden City while pursuing the new pedestrian and resident friendly vision set forward in the City’s comprehensive plan.”
Other purchasers include Boise home builder JBI Elemental, Micron’s Vice President of DRAM Process Integration Thy Tran, David B. Honcik, Boise entrepreneur Michael Slavin, Timothy Lee Johnson, Todd Campbell Construction and the John B. Colucci living trust. Public records said Fairview Acres Subdivision acquired some property from Urban Willow at the beginning of February. The subdivision is advertised on several realty websites, but there are no homes currently listed for sale.
BoiseDev could not reach any of the other buyers for comment.