A large surface parking lot near the West Boise YMCA could transform into a series of 110 rental townhomes.
Brighton Corp. asked the City of Boise to rezone a 6.5-acre parking lot across the street from the WaFd Bank/BodyBuilding.com campus in the Boise Research Center. The site at 12481 W Ashcreek St. carries a rare “technological industrial” zoning, but the city council signed off on a change to mixed-use residential for the project.
The parking lot handled overflow for the DirecTV call center along Cloverdale Rd. in 2004. DirecTV did not renew its lease on the campus.
“It now sits unused, making the ‘underdeveloped’ property prime for re-use and redevelopment,” Brighton President Jonathan D. Wardle wrote in an application letter.
A fence, or no?
Brighton says it would build a series of two-story townhomes, with a preliminary plan showing the units on the perimeter of the site with parking in the middle.
During a Boise City Council meeting Tuesday, Brighton said it took neighborhood feedback and planned a “privacy fence” screening the development from a single-family neighborhood to the south. Though the project hasn’t reached the stage where it needs approval for layout and design, several members of the council expressed concern and hoped to see more walking connections between the Ashcreek site and the neighborhood.
“When the (Boise Research Center) was planned and developed… cross-connectivity between the residential and commercial components of the overall area between Cloverdale and Eagle Roads was specifically prohibited by Boise City,” Wardle wrote. “Today, that sort of thinking would be anathema to good planning. Thus, the housing proposed as a result of this project provides an opportunity to correct some of the regressive thinking of the past and to better integrate living and work environments.”
Brighton principal David Turnbull, who was involved in the initial development of the BRC project, told the council he talked to WaFd Bank leadership recently, who said having housing within walking distance to their campus would be a positive added amenity.
With the rezoning request approved, the project would still need additional approvals from the city, which could include design review and a planned unit development permit.