Downtown investor buys historic Fidelity Building

The 1909 structure underwent a million-dollar renovation in the late 1980s.

sberg@idahostatesman.comMay 3, 2014 

0521 bi fidelity

The Fidelity Building, a two-story stone building on the northeast corner of 8th and Idaho streets, now has a new owner. Possibly named for a bank that once occupied the space, the Fidelity is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


David Wali, one of the chief deal-makers in Treasure Valley commercial real estate, has bought the Downtown Boise building where Bittercreek Alehouse & Red Feather Lounge, Pollo Rey and Pho Nouveau are located.

Wali said he completed the deal late last week. He said he will make some repairs and upgrades to the two-story building but has no plans to change the tenant mix. He just wants to hold the Fidelity Building, at 8th and Idaho streets, as an investment.

"You never get a chance to buy a building like this. And whenever you do, you just figure out a way to get it done," he said Friday. "They don't make many downtowns."

August Montandon, an attorney who spent his early career in Hailey, bought the lot shortly after he moved to Boise in 1899, said Dan Everhart of Preservation Idaho in Boise. As early as 1901, Everhart said, Montandon wanted to put up his own buildings to replace "the various frame structures" that served as the headquarters for businesses at the time, including real estate company W.G. Messersmith, the Union barber shop, the Senate Saloon, Ideal Cafe and the Pressary.

Completed in 1909, the structure was first known as the Montandon Building. Architect J.W. Smith designed it.

It could not immediately be determined Friday where the Fidelity name came from. In 1979, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination form listed Montandon Building but called the block where it's located "The Fidelity-Union Block." The building adjoins the Union Block building.

Besides his personal portfolio, Wali is executive vice president of Gardner Co., which finished the Eighth & Main building earlier this year.

Wali wouldn't say how much he paid David Almquist, formerly of Sun Valley, for the building. Last year, the Ada County assessor valued it at $1.23 million.

"It will not be probably the best deal I do by any stretch, but it will be the most fun," Wali told the Statesman.

Besides the first-floor restaurants, the building has second-floor offices, restaurant space and a yoga studio.

Sven Berg: 377-6275

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