Update, Sept. 21, 2017: The East End can breathe a sigh of relief. Realtor Kealy Baughman accepted an offer on the Roosevelt Market building that will allow the market to continue, according to a post on the Roosevelt Market’s Facebook page.
“We’ve had so many of you ask about the sale of the building and if we knew anything,” the post reads. “Yes, an offer as been made and accepted. We do not know who the buyer is, but she would like this to remain a Market. As we know more we will try and keep you updated.
Thank you all for your concern and interest.”
Susan and Nicki
Neighbors in Boise’s East End have rallied in support of the Roosevelt Market — a beloved community institution — and have formed a nonprofit group to purchase the building and preserve the business run by Susan Wilder and Nicki Monroe.
The structure at 311 N. Elm St. is listed at $399,800 through its owner Kealy Baughman’s Trail 27 realty. Baughman and her husband, Mike, bought the building in 2013 “so that someone didn’t buy it and tear it down or change it from a market into something else …,” she said in an earlier story.
The Baughmans put it on the market in late August.
Realtor James Stead lives in the neighborhood and has a daughter in first grade at Roosevelt Elementary, which is across the street from the market. He sent an offer to Kealy Baughman on Monday on behalf of Roosevelt Market Preservation Inc., in the hope that they could buy the building and let the market continue.
He initially put together a limited liability corporation with the intention of buying the building after one of his clients approached him with that idea. Then Stead, who works for Keller Williams Realty, was approached by several neighbors with the nonprofit idea.
“I was invited to a meeting at the (Boise Public) Library and about 30 people showed up,” he says. “Every single member of the community I’ve spoken to is interested in seeing this market continue, and they are all behind a nonprofit model of community ownership. They just want to keep their market.”
Stead helped set up an Idaho nonprofit, which now is operating in a grace period as it moves toward 501c3 status. If their offer is accepted, the LLC set up by Stead would act as a lender to the preservation effort, he says, at a nominal interest rate.
Stead wrote his offer for $239,968, which gives the Baughmans a 31.59 percent profit over their $182,360 purchase prices in 2013. That’s the same percentage of value the greater neighborhood has increased over the same time, he says.
“That allows Kealy to make a healthy profit on the building, and it allows the market to continue functioning,” he says.
Kealy Baughman declined to comment.
While Stead was working on his preservation effort, Cathy Fischer, another neighbor, reached out to St. Luke’s Health Systems to see if it would be willing to contribute to save the building. The hospital has made efforts to save some “historically interesting” buildings in the neighborhood being affected by its expansion.
St. Luke’s community relations director Theresa McLeod responded in an email, saying the hospital is involved in other preservation projects and is unable to help with the market.
“I knew it was a long shot,” Fischer says. “I was reaching at straws. They (St. Luke’s) stated a desire to be a good neighbor. Putting money into something that myself and many others who live here consider a cornerstone of the East End would mend more fences than anything else they’ve done. The market has been here longer than the sequoia.”
In June, St. Luke’s spent $300,000 to move the largest sequoia in the state because it was threatened by the hospital’s expansion.
The tree was planted in 1912. The building that houses the market was built in 1900, and a market has operated in it nearly all of that time. Market owner Susan Wilder traced its ownership back to 1918.
It is not on any historic preservation list and has structural issues. For example, there is no foundation.
The market is a community treasure, Fischer says.
“I think of all the generations of Boiseans who have been there, left and returned,” she says. “All that history. It’s always been there. The school counselors tell the kids if they need a safe place and a safe adult after school, go to the Roosevelt Market.”
The preservation effort came together quickly. With more time, there could be more solutions, she says.
“I appreciate that (the Baughmans) have a right to make money,” Fischer says. “But hopefully there is some middle ground we can find.”