For many people, it takes a certain mental adjustment to wrap their minds around moving into a condominium. After all, many condo choices seem more like glorified apartment buildings.
But theres something different about the Crescent Rim project.
Its not what people think of as a condominium, developer Bill Clark said. Its a cross between a condo and a single-family home.
People say, Gosh, this feels like a resort, Group One Realtor Brooke Seidl said. It doesnt even feel like a condo.
All the light, all the windows it just makes this feel like a home, said Betty Heaton. It lives like a single-family home.
She and her husband, Dick, bought one of the units recently and are scheduled to move in this month.
Clark took great care with the buildings design to create that feeling, while also making it quiet, efficient and full of amenities.
Dick Heaton notices that solid feeling of the buildings construction, both psychologically and physically.
Everything about the home feels like its forever, he said. Thats the feeling now, even more so than when we bought it.
Those who followed the construction process of Crescent Rim remember the neighborhoods wariness and how the whole project stalled when the real estate market hit the wall.
Much of the wariness has dissipated, now that neighbors can see the quality of the project. And sales have picked up. The first phase of Crescent Rim is now 30 percent full.
Indeed, just this month, the project was honored with a Grow Smart Award from Idaho Smart Growth.
The Givens Pursley LLP Residential Award saluted the project for its green-building design and development ofhousing in a neighborhood within walking/biking distance to shopping and near the Downtown core, city parks and more thereby helping to curb urban sprawl.
Clark is no stranger to local development. His Downtown projects include The Jefferson and The Veltex buildings. He also managed development at Hidden Springs and Eagle River.
But for Crescent Rim, he wanted something special. He traveled the West to get ideas for a project that would be distinctive and feel like it belonged in Boise.
Its a classic, timeless design that wont be outdated 20 years from now, he said. We worked really hard at that.
And it was done during the real estate slide. It was a gamble, Clark said. There were some sleepless nights. But its working out.
The original vision wasnt compromised at all, said Melissa Galli of Group One real estate agency. Nothing has been scaled down, even though our prices have dropped.
With the prices we have now, we dont even compare to Downtown condos, Seidl said.
Crescent Rim has 11 different floor plans. Six model units with greatly varying finishes and interior design offer inspiration to potential buyers. Every finished unit has its own flair and personality as the buyers are involved in the final stage of their units design process.
Square footage ranges from about 1,000 to 2,200 feet with one at 3,000 square feet but the condos feel much larger thanks to generous decks. The smallest deck is 126 square feet and the largest 672, save one thats a whopping 810 square feet.
Prices range from $269,000 up to $899,000. One fourth-floor unit has a million-dollar view of Downtown and the Foothills for $675,000.
AAH THE VIEW
You cant buy a unit in any of the Downtown buildings with a view comparable to this without spending twice as much, Dick Heaton said. I like that were not Downtown. You look at Downtown without having to be Downtown away from the hustle and bustle.
When he and his wife began looking for a new move, they checked out patio homes, and they looked at Downtown condominiums. If thats your lifestyle, thats great, but. ...
That wasnt our lifestyle, Betty finished. They wanted the quiet and the view that Crescent Rim offered. Its peaceful up here.
Dick, who grew up on the edge of town and loves to spend time riding horses, also feels the need for space. A condominium doesnt sound like the kind of place where that would happen, but at Crescent Rim, it does happen.
When Im here, I look out the window, and my front yard is the Foothills, he said. Anywhere I look, Ive got space. You put your money on the table here, and youve bought a piece of the Foothills.
That space also includes the amenities inside Crescent Rim. He has two parking spaces in the underground parking lot with cabinetry for storage, another storage area, a pool with lap lanes, a gym, a catering kitchen, a meeting room, a common room and two guest suites on the first floor available to rent at a low cost for short-term stays.
JUST THAT ONE HURDLE
But for the Heatons, there was still that first hurdle coming to terms with downsizing.
Betty is a 69-year-old retired trauma nurse. Dick is 72, a retired general counsel for the Yanke Group. Theyve been married for almost 17 years now, and they were living in a 3,450-square-foot home in the Highlands neighborhood, on the 17th hole of Crane Creek Country Club, to be exact.
So they had to wrap their heads and their lives around moving into a home that was only 1,990 square feet.
How long did that thought process take?
The first two hours, Betty said.
of 50 days in a row, Dick added.
But once they reached that point, it was easy. They wanted to make the decision to downsize and move now, rather than wait until they were forced to make that decision at some later date. Some of their friends complimented them for being ahead of that curve.
This frees you from being controlled by your home, Dick said. Its what you need, rather than what your home needs.
But sometimes your needs go much deeper than downsizing your accumulation of stuff, or being able to lock-and-leave, or even being able to see your home from the Stueckle Sky Center at Bronco Stadium.
For Dick, its a full-circle experience. He was a kid on this area of the Boise Bench and has a certain nostalgia for the area. His father, a well-known local builder (Heaton Homes), gave Dick enough experience in the construction industry to recognize what Clark had created at Crescent Rim. But now, Dick feels like he has completed a circle with his dad. He said his dad always dreamed about living on Crescent Rim Drive. It took a generation, but hes now brought that dream home.
For Betty, its just the kind of thing you would expect to hear from a woman with 17 grandchildren:
I feel warm and cozy comfortable. I feel like Ive come home.
Dusty Parnell is a freelance print, radio and video journalist who has worked in the Valley for more than 20 years.