The Boise School District has a deal in place to sell a 15-acre piece of land it owns near West Jr. High and the Murgoitio park site. If the deal closes, it could put just more than $12-million in district coffers.
The district decided to ask for offers recently on a piece of land it owns along Victory Rd. adjacent to the District Service Center and in front of West Junior High.
Surplus in a hot market
Spokesperson Ryan Hill said the district decided to sell the property and put the money back into other schools.
“We had no intention of utilizing the 15 acres of property, and with current market conditions and our numerous facilities’ needs, we felt this was the best time to move forward,” he said. “The funds will be deposited into our school facilities fund and will be used to upgrade and enhance current school facilities.”
Hill said 11 qualified bids came in. A public records request shows the top bidder is Welltower Inc., a large publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Ohio. It teamed up with Layton Construction of Utah to submit the winning $12.04 million bid. The deal is contingent on the City of Boise annexing the property and approving a rezone.
The site is currently involved in a proposal to annex several properties in the area, including the Murgoitio park site, and the rest of the Boise Schools properties in the area.
Hill said the timing of the call for bids and annexation is a coincidence.
“When we placed this property on the market we had no knowledge the City of Boise was working on a land swap with the Murgoitio park property,” he said. “We applied for annexation because the City asked us to annex our property in order to annex the Murgoitio property. They told us they could not develop the park unless it was annexed.”
The call for offers, prepared for the district by TOK Commercial, discusses the annexation. A letter submitted on the property last August from the City of Boise’s Deputy Planning Director Cody Riddle does not reference annexation, but elsewhere notes the annexation proposal.
“It is expected that the amendment to the Land Use Map and the annexation and zoning will be completed in October,” the flier reads.
The Welltower/Layton team said it hopes to build what it calls “wellness-focused housing,” aimed at renters.
“(The development will be) comprised of various housing product types to support a broad demographic of renters in the greater Boise area,” Welltower’s Nicholas Rumanes wrote in a letter submitted with the bid. “The housing types will likely include single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments, with thoughtful transitions considering the proximity to the adjacent residential neighborhood and schools.”
Rumanes said Welltower and Layton see an opportunity in adding rental units to the area.
“We plan to utilize housing options and offerings to address a big need in the local housing market and bridge the gap between a traditional multi-family experience and for-sale single-family housing,” he wrote.
Hill said the district will consider accepting the bid at its next board meeting, set for August 11th.