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19-story apartment and parking building proposed in Downtown Boise


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Another large-scale project would add more than 200 apartments to Downtown Boise, if built, and add another tall building to the cityscape.

Madison, Wisconsin-based 521 West Front Street, LLC applied to build the new 19-story project dubbed Ovation at the corner of 6th Street and Front Street downtown. The site sits across Front St. from the new Home2Suites by Hilton hotel and across 6th St. from the Trader Joe’s development.

The project would include 209 apartments, as well as parking. The ground floor would include commercial space along the street front. A site plan, renderings and floorplans have not yet been made available by the City of Boise, but the application indicates the first five floors would include both parking and apartments. The building would then step back and continue with apartments only from the sixth story up. The top story of the building would include a rooftop amenity deck.

Ovation would include 19 studio, 98 one-bedroom, 79 two-bedroom and 13 three-bedroom apartments, for a total of 314 bedrooms.

The building would include parking for 209 vehicles, but zero parking is required. The site sits in the City of Boise’s “P1” parking overlay zone, which does not require off-street parking. In addition to the vehicle parking, Ovation would include 85 bike spaces – below the 209 spaces required.

The application says the apartments would include “breathtaking views (and) top tier amenities.”

Bank owner developing project

According to property records, 521 West Front Street LLC purchased the site in March from the similarly-named but separate 521 Front, LLC. Steven D. Hovde of Madison, Wisc. controls the new LLC that bought the property.

Hovde is Chairman and CEO of Hovde Group. With his brother Eric, Hovde controls Sunwest Bank, which counts $1.3 billion assets, and locations across the west – including in Boise, Nampa, and Middleton. Sunwest also operates back-office functions in Nampa.

Hovde Properties owns an apartment complex in Downtown Madison, Wisconsin with a similar name – Ovation 309.

Height, demolition

The Ovation apartments would replace the Front 5 building, built in 1953. The brick building initially operated as a warehouse and still features loading docks along Broad St. The building transitioned to office use over time, but currently sits empty. Surveyors determined in 2011 that the building did not qualify for historic protection.

While the building would stand 19-stories tall, the same number as the Zions Bank Building at 8th St. and Main St. – it would be far shorter. The application indicates it would stand just 231 feet tall, compared to the Zions building which rises to 323 feet.

The project will go through the city’s design review approval process. A hearing date is expected in August, according to a City of Boise representative.

Correction: An earlier version of this story correctly noted that the application said the project only needed administrative review, however, the application was not correct. We’ve updated the story to reflect this.

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Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
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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