It’s been almost 20 months since a late-night fire destroyed the Boise International Market, the multicultural community gathering place that Miguel Gaddi and Lori Porreca created on the Boise Bench.
Most of the 16 small businesses that operated in the market building at Franklin and Curtis roads received community encouragement and financial help to reopen elsewhere after the devastating Sept. 5, 2015, fire. One of the last was El Cafetal Columbian Restaurant, which reopened this April 1 at 3116 Garrity Blvd., Suite 114, in Nampa.
It took much longer for Gaddi and Porreca to sort out what to do with their heavily damaged building, to settle things with their insurance company and then get to work on repairs. They say they lost so much more than a building in the fire, which police and fire officials said was intentionally set. No one has been charged in the crime.
“It’s like a dream and a vision truncated,” Gaddi said Monday.
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The nearly-12,000-square-foot building has been cleared out, cleaned up, rebuilt and painted. It’s ready for new tenants — whether that’s another market or something totally new.
But if another market forms, Porreca and Gaddi won’t be the driving force this time.
“At this point, it’s mainly going to be tenant-driven,” said Gaddi, noting that there’s a lot of flexibility in what can be done with the building. “We’re not in a position to captain the ship.”
The building has a new roof, facade and sprinkler system. Three sections of the west wall were engineered in a way that will make it easy to expand into the 8,000-square-foot lot next door, creating indoor/outdoor use.
Four cooking hoods that were installed for food businesses at the market have been repaired. They won’t be removed unless a new tenant doesn’t want or need them. The building has numerous floor sinks.
Gaddi and Porreca hope the site can again be an energizing presence in the neighborhood. The building could accommodate a brewery or a winery. They hope to fill it soon.
“The bills need to be paid. The building needs to be occupied,” Gaddi said.
They’ll finish off the interior, including HVAC, electrical and restrooms, once they understand the needs of the new tenants.
Anyone interested in learning more about the building can contact Gaddi via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.