One of Downtown Boise’s most aggressive developers in recent years is planning a less-ambitious version of its original vision for Parcel B, the 5-acre lot between 11th, 13th, Myrtle and Front streets.
The new project includes a 145,000-square-foot office building along Myrtle Street, a 600-space parking garage on the southwest corner of 11th and Front, and a 5,000-square-foot retail building on the northwest corner of Myrtle and 11th. The lot’s northwest quadrant would be left empty for future development.
In 2014, Gardner built Eighth & Main, Idaho’s tallest building, and is months from finishing the multi-use City Center Plaza on the Grove in Downtown Boise. It originally planned to build two hotels and a parking garage on Parcel B. That project ran out of steam early this year, partly because the developer couldn’t work out an agreement to pay for a private-public parking garage on the site.
On Jan. 21, the Greater Boise Auditorium District’s board of directors agreed to sell Gardner Parcel B for $7.925 million. The transaction removed the condition that Gardner build hotels on the land to support the district’s expansion of its convention venue, Boise Centre — a project that Gardner, coincidentally, is building as part of City Center Plaza.
With the new project, Gardner is able to design something to fit Parcel B. Before, company leaders felt they were working backwards, trying to force a major hotel onto the site while adding covered parking and satisfying city planners’ demand for a network of pedestrian and car connections through the lot.
The parking garage in the new plan — on the corner closest to the Downtown core — should be favorable to Capital City Development Corp., Boise’s urban renewal agency that is a likely partner in paying to build the garage.
There’s plenty of room for the city’s preferred pathway network, too, because the proposed buildings won’t take up as much room as Gardner’s original hotel plan.
Gardner Executive Vice President David Wali said the company hopes to break ground by this fall and finish the project by mid-2018. He expects the project to cost $50 million or more.