New hotels enhance Downtown Boise
A prominent Boise developer has proposed an eight-story hotel attached to a parking garage on the north side of Front Street between 5th and 6th streets Downtown.
If built, the 138-room hotel would extend the streak of Downtown hotel construction that brought the Inn at 500 Capitol, a Hyatt Place and a Residence Inn this year, with a Hilton Garden Inn opening in 2018.
The garage could add up to 600 parking spaces — some private, some public — to an increasingly congested area, while stimulating more development.
He has wanted to develop the north side of the Front Street block for at least a decade. The entire block has been a surface parking lot since Carley bought the buildings on the west side that housed the Boise Rescue Mission and a dry cleaner, and tore them down. Before the Great Recession derailed Downtown’s growth, he and a co-developer planned a 23-story condo tower there.
More recently, Carley has focused mostly on building a parking garage with either residential units or a hotel attached. He proposed a slightly larger hotel-and-parking-lot combination last year, but those plans stalled. Carley declined Wednesday to comment on his latest proposal, saying the plans could change again.
The hotel would cover the whole block. Its L shape would hide the garage from passers-by on Front and 6th. It would face the two-story Concordia Law School across Front, the eight-story C.W. Moore office building across 5th, and a one-story building housing BizPrint, a printing company, across 6th.
Carley’s proposal came in a filing to City Hall last week by his business partner in the proposed hotel, the Raymond Management Co. of Middleton, Wisconsin. Raymond develops hospitality-industry real estate.
The application did not say what brand the hotel would be, and Raymond did not return a call Wednesday. Raymond has specialized in developing and managing Hampton Inns for more than 20 years. Its properties include the Hampton Inn nearby at 495 S. Capitol Blvd.
Some of the garage’s spaces might be sold to the Capital City Development Corp., Boise’s urban-renewal agency, which operates most of Downtown’s public garages.
John Brunelle, CCDC’s executive director, thinks Carley’s project would help Boise. “We like it in terms of adding vibrancy and additional visitors to downtown who will use the hotel’s services, eating downtown and shopping downtown,” he said. “It could be a very good thing for the local economy.”
Brunelle also likes the idea of buying public parking spaces in the garage, something CCDC will do at a garage in Gardner Co.’s Pioneer Crossing office and hotel complex six blocks to the west. The purchases reduce the need for CCDC to build garages itself, he said.
“There’s more benefit to everyone if at least part of the garage can be used by weekday workers and weekend-and-evening people” coming Downtown for entertainment, he said.
Carley’s proposal is expected to go before Boise’s Design Review Committee at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13.