Affordable housing was the center of the idea by Brad Elg, Jeff Shneider and David Wali for developing the C.C. Anderson Building, which they bought in late 2011.
They wanted to fill the buildings top three floors with 64 apartments that working people could afford. But making the dollars and cents work for the affordable housing would have meant taking federal tax credits to help pay the development cost and pass them on to residents.
With those tax credits come restrictions. For example, the people living in the subsidized apartments cant be students. They also cant make above a certain percentage of the areas average income.
The partners worried that they wouldnt be able to find enough people who wanted to live Downtown and could afford the apartments between $540 and $1,040 per month and who also qualified for subsidized housing, Wali said.
They discussed turning the first floor into a theater for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. That didnt work. One of the problems was that the festival would have to raise millions of dollars before work started on renovating the building.
So the partners have decided to sell.
Theres no use in letting it remain vacant if theres someone else who might be a better fit for it, Wali said.
NEW LIFE FOR AN OLD BOISE BUILDING?
The C.C. Anderson Building, located on the northeast corner of 10th and Idaho, went on the market Wednesday. The sellers are asking $2.1 million.
Boise businessman C.C. Anderson built it in 1927 as a home for his department store. It remained a department store until 2010, when Macys closed its Downtown Boise location.
Wali said that he and his partners paid only $1 million for the building in 2011 but that they wont be making any money. He said they put hundreds of thousands of dollars into asbestos removal, planning and structural engineering. He figures theyll just about break even on the sale.
Wali still thinks housing should be a component of the C.C. Anderson Buildings new life. Offices and retail stores could fill in the rest, he said.
Greg MacMillan, who works for commercial real estate broker Colliers International, is the buildings listing agent. He said the amount of space more than 115,000 square feet on four floors makes it attractive for all kinds of development, whether its a hotel, housing, offices, restaurants or something else.
The building is not without its challenges, but the right person the right buyer could do something great, MacMillan said.
Sven Berg: 377-6275