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Proposed 14-story dual-hotel project in Downtown Boise would be city’s largest

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More than a year ago, BoiseDev first reported a project to build two hotels on a surface parking lot along Grove St. at 10th St. in Downtown Boise.

Now we have a look at what the project might look like if built.

Eagle’s Pennbridge Lodging hopes to build a Mariott AC Hotel and a second Marriott brand called Element along Grove St. on a site it owns. Pennbridge, owned by Jared S. Smith, previously developed the Residence Inn on Capitol Blvd.

The project would rise 14 stories with a total of 271 guest rooms – 149 for the AC project and 122 for Element. The combined hotel project would be Boise’s largest in terms of total rooms, ahead of the Grove Hotel (234 rooms), but behind Garden City’s Riverside Hotel (300+ rooms).

It appears to be the first Boise-area hotel to include two hotel brands in a single building.

That proposal is a shift from last year’s plan, which called for building a Springhill Suites instead of the Element Hotel. Element by Westin is an extended stay hotel. It includes a breakfast area, evening reception, and more. As we reported, AC Hotels caters to business travelers with higher-end design features.

If built, the two hotels would bring the total number of lodging options to five along a two-block stretch of Grove that includes the long-standing Hotel 43 and the under-construction Sparrow and Hotel Renegade projects.

14-story hotels

Here’s how the project breaks down:

  • The building would feature a basement with a small number of parking spaces and utility area.
  • On the first floor, the parking garage for the project would start with an entrance on 10th St. across from Hotel 43, with an internal hotel entrance area. Along Grove St., the two hotels would each have distinct spaces – with the AC Hotel toward 10th St., and Element toward 11th St. Each hotel would include lounge and lobby spaces, as well as small outdoor seating areas on each corner.
  • The second, third, and fourth levels would be made up exclusively of parking garage space or back-of-house functions like laundry. In total, the building would have more than 315 spaces.
  • The Element hotel portion of the building would start on the 5th floor, with rooms forming a ring on 11th, Grove, and 10th. This floor would also feature a pool and spa, as well as a fitness center.
  • Plans for the 5th and 6th floors show additional Element rooms.
  • The building then steps back to the corner of 10th and Grove for a tower-type approach, continuing through the 13th floor.
  • The building’s top floor includes two roof decks, a banquet room, a boardroom, a bar, and a breakfast area.

A traffic study provided by the developer estimates it will generate about 2,720 new vehicle trips every day when the current parking lot on the site is factored out.

Project design

The AC Hotel/Element Hotel is in the City of Boise’s central business district and has zoning that doesn’t limit height or require parking. But the project will require design review approval from the city.

“Inspired by the stunning beauty of this place with the Boise River as the meandering ribbon in this landscape, combined with rich cultural overlay from the Shoshone and Bannock tribes to French traders, and Oregon Trail Pioneers, we have leveraged the legacy of Grove Street and the Linen District History to create a unique guest experience,” Jeff Roberts with SERA Design of Portland wrote in an application letter. “The hotel’s rich exterior colors and detailing express the functional practicality of a place built on a pioneering spirit and exploration of the west.”

The building includes dark grey, light grey, and brown accents. The darkly-colored parking garage and lobby podium extend up four stories. The hotel rooms above feature lighter colors and glass.

A hearing on design review is set for 6 pm on September 14th at Boise City Hall.

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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