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Apartments in the mall parking lot? Process to build unique project appears stalled

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Last year, BoiseDev reported on a unique idea: tearing down the old Sears store at Boise Towne Square and replacing it with apartments. The concept would have replaced a place of retail – with a place of rest. A total of 251 apartment homes were proposed, right in the mall’s existing parking lot.

But a year later, the old Sears store remains vacant.

Mall managers told us last month that the development of the project is still underway. But the project is owned separately from the rest of Boise Towne Square, and the process of obtaining permits from the City of Boise for the project stopped abruptly last fall.

Rendering of Madison Town Square. Via CSHQA

Madison Capital Group of Charlotte, NC, purchased the property last spring. In early August, it applied for design review for a project called Madison Town Square, which would feature four apartment buildings, a clubhouse, and parking. A month later, the firm touted our story on the project on its Facebook page.

The project started to work its way through the city’s design review process. A hearing for a conditional use permit was set to be held on September 20th.

The city’s online permits indicate the city urged Madison Capital Group to consider “design alternatives.” The city’s documents noted it had a number of concerns, but did not upload the document outlining those issues to its public records portal for public scrutiny. BoiseDev has requested a copy of the document under Idaho’s Public Records Act.

Just days before the hearing, on September 17th of last year, the applicant asked to withdraw its applications for the project.

In the months since the city has no record of any permit activity for the property at 460 N. Milwaukee St.

BoiseDev reached out to Madison Capital Group last week, but the firm did not respond. It still owns the property, according to property records. (Of note, the county’s online property search tool still has the old owner of the property, Seritage Finance, but the assessor’s office confirms the sale went through in the spring of 2021, and the online listing is not correct.)

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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