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Project on old Armory site takes shape: housing, reuse of historic building

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BoiseDev reported last year that the historic Reserve St. Armory was set for development. At the time of the news, specific plans for the site had not been announced

Now, the developers have submitted a project application to the City of Boise. Though this project would take over the land adjacent To the Armory. The applicant writes that they are still talking to tenants about moving into the historic building. 

Alpha Development Group wants to use the land to build 206 market-rate housing units. It would be stacked housing units above a parking structure, single-story walk-up units that wrap around the parking structure, and along the south property line, there would be three-story townhomes. 

“The city’s zoning ordinance identifies our parcel as an Neighborhood (sic) Activity Center where individuals and families from the surrounding areas can gather. This designation matches with the owner’s vision and philosophy of the completed project,” the application said. “Not only will this project provide a great opportunity for individuals to live in the desirable east end of Boise, but it will also provide a well-known gathering place for those who live in the greater Treasure Valley. Along with housing options in attractive buildings, the owner anticipates the completed project to provide a complementary use ranging from coffee shops and large public use areas to local breweries and bike shops. When it is suggested to meet at the Armory, we want it to elicit a positive response.”

Site plan for old Armory site

The parking structures would have 336 parking spaces plus 10 surface stalls, and about 30 on-street parking spaces. 

The project would also include about 3,000 square foot retail space on the north side of the parking structure. 

“It is our focus to construct visually attractive and interesting structures that will complement those already present in the East End community,” the application said. “Planned finishes include brick, architectural metal panels, cementitious fiberboard siding, and small areas of Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS) product. The goal with the exterior finishes is make a strong visual connection with the Armory building.”

The applicant is looking for planned use development approval from the city. 

Site history

The Idaho National Guard Armory at 801 Reserve St. building went up in 1931 and housed a variety of Idaho National Guard facilities and personnel. Expansions over the years in 1936, 1940, and 1956 added office space and more. The building is anchored by a large drill hall designed by Boise architecture firm Tourtellotte & Hummel. Don

The building was eventually part of a land swap in 2012 between J&M Land and the City of Boise. J&M completed some restoration of the historic building and entered a development agreement that allows for mixed use on the property. Even though J&M sold the property, the agreement still stands.

BoiseDev’s Don Day contributed reporting.

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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