This new Downtown apartment building is almost done, renting small and costly units

LocalConstruct co-owner Casey Lynch said he and partner Mike Brown have seen enough enthusiasm for their most recent Downtown Boise project to start planning the next one.

On March 1, Lynch said, residents can start moving into The Fowler, a seven-story, 159-apartment building on the northwest corner of 5th and Myrtle streets. So far, future tenants have signed leases for about 15 percent of those, Lynch said. He expects one-quarter of the units to be leased by March 1. The apartments sit on top of a 186-space parking garage.

The Fowler has roughly equal numbers of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Rents range from $1,100 to $1,800.

The Fowler apartments are small and expensive for Boise — a typical one-bedroom might have 600 square feet and cost between $1,260 and $1,600 per month. They have amenities and services not found at most local complexes: a gym, 24-hour electronic parcel retrieval, on-site management services, 160 bike storage spaces and even a dog-washing station. A pizza restaurant and coffee shop are located on the ground floor. Boise Brewing is next door.

LocalConstruct expects The Fowler to achieve LEED Gold certification in recognition of its environmentally friendly and energy-conscious design. The building has low-flow plumbing fixtures, drought-resistant landscaping, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems and LED light fixtures, said Patrick Boel, LocalConstruct’s director of construction. It was built with local materials, and 82 percent of construction waste was recycled or reused.

Lynch said he and Brown likely will decide within the next few months where to build next. The company’s Downtown holdings include land just east of The Fowler in the area known as the Central Addition and a parcel bordered by 15th, 16th, Bannock and Idaho streets on Downtown’s western edge.

Lynch said LocalConstruct is bullish on Boise. People are going to keep moving here, he said, and some will want to live in an urban setting where they can walk or bike to work, restaurants, recreation and other amenities.

The same amenities appeal to retirement-age people who’ve lived in the Treasure Valley for a long time and are downsizing, he said. The people interested in living at The Fowler are a mix of Treasure Valley newcomers and old-timers.

“We’ve had a great response so far,” he said. “People totally get it. They see the appeal of living Downtown.”

Founded in Los Angeles in 2008, LocalConstruct burst on the Downtown Boise development scene with a remake of the historic Owyhee Plaza Hotel on the southwest corner of Main and 11th streets. It partnered with longtime Downtown developer Clay Carley to turn the hotel into apartments and offices.

Last year, they finished the Watercooler, a 37-unit apartment building with retail space at Idaho and 14th streets.