In a few months, Engineered Structures Inc. plans to make 8th and Main the tallest building in Idaho not counting the Boise Airports control tower, which some people dont consider to be a real building.
But behind the plastic that wraps the skeleton, 8th and Main looks to the untrained eye like any other commercial building under construction: a behemoth of steel and stone.
Huge steel trusses radiate outward from the buildings concrete core, which has ascended to half its eventual height. Workers in hardhats and caution vests keep tools and scaffolding busy.
It smells like cement and cut metal. It sounds like a big city.
A year from now, if all proceeds as planned, 8th and Main will have a completely different feel.
Several restaurants, a bank, an architecture firm, a financial services firm and a gymnasium have signed contracts to rent high-end retail and office space in the building, said Tommy Ahlquist, chief operating officer of the Gardner Company, which owns the project.
That shows unprecedented demand for retail and office space in Boise, Ahlquist said.
The 8th and Main building is a huge draw, Ahlquist said, and not just because Boiseans cant wait to fill the barren hole in their citys core. The history behind the location from a hotel on the Oregon Trail to whispers of a curse on the land to a list of projects that died for one reason or another provides intrigue most buildings just dont offer.
Demand for space in the building might be unprecedented, Ahlquist said, but its not a total surprise.
We always knew that the Downtown market for true class-A space, the vacancy rates were just low. It was just a great time to build a building, Ahlquist said.
Sven Berg: 377-6275
8th and Main by the numbers