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One of downtown’s last undeveloped blocks could see hotels, residential project

BoiseDev Exclusive

It’s one of the last remaining undeveloped full blocks in Downtown Boise. But that could soon change.

A listing flier offers up the half-block across from the JR Simplot Company headquarters for sale at 10th St. and Front St. As BoiseDev first reported last year, Pennbridge Capital of Eagle acquired the full city block last year from the Yanke family of Boise.

Pennbridge developed the Residence Inn by Marriott on Capitol Blvd., as well as other hotel projects throughout the region. Principal Jared Smith tells BoiseDev they hope to develop two new hotels on the northside of the block along Grove St.

[Work begins on river-front apartments, restaurant, retail, and future hotel along Boise River]

“We will retain the northern half of the block… and still plan to build two Marriott hotels – 130-room Marriott AC and a 130-room Marriott SpringHill Suites.

AC Hotels cater to business travelers and includes 188 hotels around the world. Originally founded in Spain, it saw investment from Marriott in 2009 and eventually fully joined the Mariott collection. The hotels often feature more modern interior and exterior designs.

SpringHill Suites is an all-suite hotel, which currently fields locations in SE Boise and Eagle.

Pat Rice, Executive Director of the Greater Boise Auditorium District said that hotel demand in the Downtown Boise is starting to increase after the lows experienced in the early months of the pandemic.

“We’re definitely seeing a perk up in activity,” Rice said. “March had a nice increase over February and we are seeing the numbers going up.”

He said interest in hotel projects in the downtown area continues to be strong.

“I’ve had two developers talking to us. One was in yesterday asking about market conditions. We are not involved in hotel development, but can answer general questions – like how is business looking coming back and what is 2022 and 2023.”

Site for sale

10th and Front Boise
Half of a downtown block at the corner of 10th St. and Front St. in Downtown Boise is listed for sale. The other half could see two new hotels. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

The site, currently home to a parking lot, could also see a residential or other development along Front St.

The listing flier touts it as “best piece of undeveloped land in the market.”

“This site is ideally shaped and located for a high-density multifamily development,” the listing notes. “Zoned C-5DD, with no density constraints, height limits, or parking requirements for residential uses, a prospective developer will have the freedom to design and build a project that will stand out as a leader in the market and capitalize on the tremendous demand for high-quality living options downtown.”

[JUMP, Simplot Co. plan ‘fun’ and ‘animatronic’ additions to Downtown Boise campus]

Time of transition

The 10th and Front block is bordered on its north side by Grove St., which the Capital City Development Corporation plans to overhaul with streetscape upgrades, art and other improvements.

The lot sat empty except for car parking and the former Boise Farmers Market site after a wave of urban renewal swept through Boise in the 1970s and early 80s in anticipation of a downtown mall that never materialized.

BoiseDev graphic

The site is one of just three fully undeveloped full city blocks in the Downtown Boise area from Front St. to Jefferson St. and Broadway Ave. to 15th St. The others are owned by Idaho Power and used for employee parking at 13th and Main, and for parking for WinCo Foods at Ave. A and Myrtle. One additional “block,” which is bounded by the entrance and exit of the I-184 Connector is owned by the Simplot family.

Several other blocks in the area are partially without improvements outside of surface parking, including a CCDC plan to revamp most of a block that includes the CW Moore Building.

Smith said he hopes to see a call for offers on the south side of the block in coming weeks.

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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