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Proposals could vastly reshape Boise YMCA area, including relocating Y, building 20-story residential tower

A story BoiseDev members got first.

A quiet part of Downtown Boise could soon see change on a big — or even massive scale. The Capital City Development Corp. is considering a trio of proposals for an area at 10th St. and State St. that could add between $89 million and $260 million in investment. One proposal could even tear down and replace the YMCA facility along State St.

The agency asked for proposals to redevelop what it calls “Block 68” – two parcels of land the urban renewal agency owns across from the YMCA. The sites include surface parking lots, the former Idaho Sporting Goods building, and an office building.

The agency will go through a process to pick a winning proposal in the coming months.

“This is obviously very exciting, and we’ve been waiting to see what proposals we got,” CCDC board of commissioners chair Dana Zuckerman said. “We have three proposals that will make a lot of difference in that part of town. We have a lot of work ahead of us in seeing what’s best for the city.”

Here’s how the three proposals layout, according to a presentation to the board, and the project proposals filed with CCDC.

Edlen & Co. et alGreen StreetPEG Development
Total investment$260 million*$89 million$125 million
Total housing units626*239345
120% AMI units130107130
80% AMI units255025
Parking724431575
CCDC contribution$20.5 million$20.9 million$14.6 million
Stories201717
Expected completion2026Sept. 2024Oct. 2025
*Edlen & Co. numbers include all proposed numbers, both on CCDC-owned parcels, and those on YMCA-owned parcels.

Edlen & Co., deChase Miksis, Elton Companies, YMCA

Edlen, deChase & Elton proposed to work with the YMCA to go beyond the borders of the two CCDC parcels and redevelop additional land owned by the YMCA for a large-scale proposal that would completely revamp all or part of four city blocks in the area.

Records obtained last year by BoiseDev, who YMCA officials met with urban renewal staff about a so-called “catalytic” project in the area, but details remained scarce. In 2019, BoiseDev reported the agency worked to expand its Westside urban renewal area to include the YMCA parcels but didn’t provide specifics on why it hoped to expand the district. It later added land, including Boise High School and the YMCA site, to the district.

The proposal with the YMCA group would be one of the largest in terms of value in Downtown Boise’s history. With more than $260 million in improvements proposed, it would tear down and replace the aging YMCA facility on State St. The proposal aims to build 626 housing units, add 18,287 square feet of retail, build more than 700 parking stalls, 61 bike spaces, and additional space for health/education, office, and childcare.

“This proposal also assembles agency-owned property and property owned by the YMCA to accomplish a larger visionary outcome development,” Brady Shin with CCDC said.

The project’s centerpiece is a proposed 20-story tower at the corner of 10th St. and Jefferson St, with a variety of uses, including residential housing, parking and mobility, and ground-floor retail. It would include 560 units of housing, with 130 priced at 120% of the area or median income level or less, 25 units at 80% of the AMI or less, and 295 market-rate units.

Another 126 units would be featured in other buildings across the project, for 626 in total.

The project as proposed would include:

  • 278 studio units at at least 550 square feet.
  • 247 one-bedroom units at at least 650 square feet.
  • 101 2-bedroom units of at least 850 square feet.

Altogether, this project would add 727 new bedrooms to the area.

According to property records, the project would tear down the current YMCA building, which dates back to 1972. The building has seen a number of modifications and expansions over the years.

  • A residential and retail building would go up in place of the main YMCA building.
  • The Y would move across State St. to the old Idaho Sporting Goods site.
  • Immediately behind that is the 20 story residential tower.
  • A third residential and retail building would pop up along 11th St. on the former Nelsons School Supply site.
  • A “creative office space” building would replace a surface parking lot used by the YMCA.

“Our vision for the project is to provide diverse opportunities for new residents, retailers, and the surrounding community,” the group wrote in a proposal letter. “A pedestrian-oriented ground level will include a mix of uses promoting indoor-outdoor activities, walkability, public safety, and a strong connection to pedestrian and bicycle transit. Our proposed project prioritizes activating street frontages with expansive storefront fenestration to enhance density, enrich the pedestrian experience, and contribute to a cohesive, livable, inclusive neighborhood for downtown Boise. The building designs will serve to augment the authentic neighborhood fabric by integrating forward-thinking sustainable materials.”

Under this proposal, CCDC would contribute $20.5 million and value, including streetscapes, the mobility hub, and land.

The proposal aims to start construction of the multi-phase project in 2023, with a multi-year timeline stretching into 2026.

Green Street Real Estate Ventures

Green Street of Clayton, MO, also hopes to build a large-scale project on the CCDC parcels. Green Street’s concept stuck strictly to the two pieces of land owned by the agency.

The firm hopes to build what it calls an “L-shaped” building on the block. A large parking structure would go up along Jefferson St., with a 17-story residential tower at the corner of 10th and State.

If selected, the project would add 239 housing units, 10,800 square feet of retail and build 431 parking stalls, and “at least” 30 bike spaces.

The project calls for $89 million in investment. It would include 107 units at or below 120% of AMI, 50 units at or below 80% AMI, and 82 market-rate units.

Green Street’s proposal would build:

  • 93 studio units of 580 square feet.
  • 99 one-bedroom units at 650 square feet.
  • 47 two-bedroom units at 1,015 square feet.

In total, Green Street hopes to build 286 beds of housing on the sites.

Some units would include “expandable room fixtures,” which rearrange the floor space with moving units that allow a switch from a bedroom setting to a living room in the same area.

While Green Street does not have the YMCA land under its control, it says it hopes to add more land to its proposal if it is picked.

“Our experience in St. Louis and other cities demonstrates that Green Street is a developer of neighborhoods and not just one-off sites,” the proposal says. “We intend to pursue other development opportunities within the surrounding blocks of downtown Boise. Partnering with CCDC and the City of Boise will allow us to offer attractive Class A residential units to a large number of residents at various income levels, as well as provide commercial space and bicycle facilities to activate the surrounding streets.”

The project asks for $20.9 million in funding and value from CCDC, including streetscapes, the mobility hub, and land value.

If selected, Green Street hopes to start construction in early 2023, with the project wrapping up by September of 2024.

PEG Development

PEG Development of Provo, Utah’s pitch to CCDC would also build a significant-scale residential and mixed-use project, staying within the bounds of the two sites owned by the agency.

PEG would build two buildings on the CCDC-owned sites, bridged across the alley with a sky bridge, reaching as high as 17 stories. The project would include ground-floor retail, integrated parking garage, and residential units reaching skyward.

PEG’s concept would add 345 housing units, 13,210 square feet of retail/restaurant, and build 575 parking stalls and 30+ bike spaces.

This proposal calls for a total of 345 apartment units, with 130 units at or below 120% AMI and 25 units at or below the 80% AMI level. The remaining 190 units would be set for market rate.

PEG’s proposal calls for:

  • 90 studio units of 560 square feet.
  • 160 one-bedroom units of 707 square feet.
  • 95 two-bedroom units at 965 square feet.

In total, the project would add 440 beds to Downtown Boise.

The concept calls for two large “green walls” with planted material over a mesh backing facing the YMCA facility along State St.

“PEG Companies (PEG) is pleased to announce its interest in teaming with the Capital City Development Corporation in the Block 68 Catalytic Development Project in downtown Boise, Idaho,” PEG wrote in an application letter. “Per the recently released 2020 U.S. Census data, Idaho’s population has grown 17.3% in the past decade—second-most in the nation—and its capital Boise experienced a 14.6% rise. PEG hopes to address the needs of the growing urban population while also establishing a landmark that enhances the city’s skyline.”

PEG’s proposal calls for $14.6 million in contributions from CCDC, including for streetscapes, the mobility hub, and “discounted” land value.

It calls for construction to start in March of 2023 and wrap up by October of 2025.

What’s next

CCDC decided to form a group of three board members – Dana Zuckerman, Ryan Woodings, and Latonia Haney Keith. The group will meet with developers, take in additional information, ask questions, and provide information to CCDC staff. The agency’s staff will then score and rank the proposals and bring them back to the entire board for a final vote.

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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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