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New apartments by Boise mall approved, will be first to use city’s ‘housing bonus’ program

A long-vacant lot across the street from the Boise Towne Square mall will soon become a multi-story apartment building. 

BoiseDev first told you about the project in February.

On Tuesday, Boise City Council approved a modified development agreement for a 136-unit, five story apartment building at the corner of Cole Road and Denton Street. The project will have four floors of apartments, underground parking, a retail space on the first floor and self storage for residents of the units.

[‘Micro units’ approved next to Boise Towne Square Mall]

The majority of the units in the project will be two bedrooms and each will have its own balconies. Residents will also have access to a clubhouse on the second floor. Rents will range from $1,000 to $1,250 for a one-bedroom, depending on the size, and roughly $1,500 for a two-bedroom.

Housing Bonus Ordinance was key

The property is part of a larger property developed in stages since 1999. In the early 2000s, a Marriott Residence Inn and a Mattress Firm location went up. But, developer representative Jay Gibbons said the two acre size of the remaining lot stalled development.

What finally spurred the project was the passage of Boise’s Housing Bonus Ordinance at the tail end of 2020. This policy change allows projects that meet certain specifications to have higher density than otherwise would be allowed. This is the first project in Boise to take advantage of the new ordinance.

Because this project was close to an activity center and served by public transportation, the project was permitted to have an additional floor. This took the project from 90 units to 136. This project did not take advantage of the affordable housing bonus and was not permitted to build units set aside for people making beneath certain income thresholds.

“Our project struggled with the density on two acres,” Gibbons said. What (the Housing Bonus Ordinance) allowed us to do is up our density and have more residents that will support the facility.”

No one testified for or against the project and it passed city council unanimously.

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev senior reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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BoiseDev Project Tracker

  • 580 N. Cole Rd. apartments

  • Boise Towne Square (ongoing)