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‘Saltbox’: Project would add 12-story hotel, restaurants, apartments to downtown


Another large-scale downtown project could add a new 12-story building to the skyline, right between Front St. and Myrtle St.

Boise firm Roundhouse started the process to develop a set of properties it owns on a block between Myrtle St., 4th St., 5th St. and Broad St. The site is between two other projects developed by Roundhouse – The Fowler to the west and Hearth to the east.

The project is the latest in the evolution of Boise’s Central Addition neighborhood from a mix of single-family homes and offices to a dense neighborhood with a number of large buildings. A saltbox house is a style of home with gabled roofs. A number of saltbox houses dotted the Central Addition before developers started revamping the area.

One of the existing homes on the block, which will remain. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

The firm held a pre-application meeting with the City of Boise last week. An email seeking additional information from Roundhouse was not returned. Developers often hold pre-application meetings with the City of Boise, but projects sometimes don’t move to the application stage, or are not constructed.

The Saltbox – hotel and more

The development, codenamed Saltbox Project, would start with a large underground parking garage that takes up about 3/4ths of the block. The plan calls for 130 parking spaces.

As it comes out of the ground, it would then have three individual buildings, each shaped to surround a central plaza area in the middle. A series of four townhomes and a single-family house at the corner of 4th and Broad are not owned by Roundhouse, and aren’t part of the project.

On the corner of 5th and Broad, the firm hopes to build a 12-story hotel. The hotel would have 180 rooms, with a ground-floor restaurant and bar. The second floor would include a 13,000-square-foot conference center. Then, nine stories of hotel rooms, with a rooftop pool as well as dining on the top floor.

The proposed hotel is the latest in a string of proposals for new hotel rooms in the downtown area, including a recently-proposed project for 270 rooms at 10th St. and Grove St.

The preliminary plan call for a valet parking area along 5th St. in an area where an Americans with Disability Act parking space is currently placed. The city told the applicant that the plan would have to change to keep the ADA space and that “valet parking should occur on site and not within the public right-of-way…”

Plans often evolve from the pre-application stage through to the formal application submittal.

Apartments along Myrtle

The second and third buildings would form a new apartment project along Myrtle St. On the ground floor, the building would essentially split into two, with amenities including a possible gym, retail and a bar facing the courtyard. A number of walkup apartment levels are also shown. On the second level, the hotel building would connect to the project with a walkway. A clubhouse and apartments round out the rest of this floor.

Then, at the third floor, the two apartment buildings would connect and go up to a height of six stories. In total, the project would feature a total of 100 apartments.

Past, future

Earlier this year, crews worked to demolish an office building on the site. The ground is now clear.

Crews demolished an office building in January. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Initially, part of this site was included in a plan for two towers connected by a skybridge across Broad St. Former Boise City Council member Scot Ludwig proposed the project, but later sold one of the two lots to Roundhouse.

The project will need to win several approvals from the City of Boise. The site currently carries a zoning of “residential office,” which limits both a project’s height and the density of housing units. The city indicates it would need a zoning designation of C-5, which is the city’s most dense zoning designation.

It will also need to pass design review.

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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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