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These 2 proposed Downtown buildings would have a skybridge, with a plaza on top

An artist’s rendering shows how two buildings proposed for 5th and Broad streets in Downtown Boise would be linked by a skybridge and a landscaped terrace. Front Street is in the foreground, with Concordia University School of Law at lower right.
An artist’s rendering shows how two buildings proposed for 5th and Broad streets in Downtown Boise would be linked by a skybridge and a landscaped terrace. Front Street is in the foreground, with Concordia University School of Law at lower right. Provided by the city of Boise

A Boise developer plans to build two high-rise buildings on two Downtown parking lots and to connect them with a skybridge for vehicles that has a landscaped plaza on top.

Broad Street Properties has submitted an application for nine-story and 11-story buildings at 5th and Broad streets. The firm’s managing partner is Scot Ludwig, a member of the Boise City Council and the Capital City Development Corp., the city’s urban-renewal agency,

The taller building, with 130,200 square feet, would be between West Broad and Front streets on 5th’s east side, across from Concordia University law school. It would have parking on the fourth and fifth levels that would connect to the second building to the south through the skybridge across Broad Street. The first building would have four two-story live-work units on the ground floor, offices on the third level, and 24 condominiums on floors 6 through 11

The shorter building is actually larger, with 147,500 square feet. It would be across 5th from the Fowler Apartments now under construction. It would include ground-floor retail space and parking, additional parking on floors 2 through 6, and offices on floors 7 through 9.

The landscaped outdoor plaza spanning the two structures is planned for the sixth floor. Condominium residents and office workers would have access to it.

“Building multi-use and multistory structures on two properties and then connecting them at an elevated level is new to Boise,” wrote Greg Allen of Hummel Architects in a letter accompanying the application. “This freshness, however, illustrates the excitement and surprise that greets newcomers to Boise for the first time.”

In all, the two buildings would provide 284 regular parking spaces and eight for handicapped drivers, according to the plans. Vehicles could use the skybridge to cross between the buildings’ parking levels, and some could park on the skybridge itself.

The project would require a conditional-use permit to allow the nine-story building. A restriction in that area limits buildings to six stories. Permission would also be needed for the retail space, because it is in an area zoned for live-work office use.

Ludwig had planned to build an office building or mixed-use project one block east at 4th and Broad, but that never materialized. That lot was sold in 2016 to Engineered Structures Inc., a commercial builder, which continues to use it as a parking lot for now.

The cost of the project was not disclosed in documents filed with the city. Ludwig did not immediately return a telephone message Wednesday.

A hearing before the Boise City Planning and Zoning Commission has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at Boise City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd.

The 5th and Broad development was first reported by the Idaho Business Review.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell

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