Boise & Garden City

LocalConstruct plans apartments, retail, parking — but no grocery store — near Boise’s whitewater park

This rendering shows what LocalConstruct’s apartment-focused project in Boise’s West End would look like from the west.
This rendering shows what LocalConstruct’s apartment-focused project in Boise’s West End would look like from the west.

Downtown Boise developer LocalConstruct plans to build a total of 223 apartments, a 335-space parking garage and 16,000 square feet of ground-floor retail on the 6.5-acre lot on the southeast corner of Main Street and Whitewater Park Boulevard in Boise’s West End, according to documents filed with the city of Boise.

That would be the first phase of a two-phase project. The apartments would include 32 studios, 91 one-bedroom units, 87 two-bedroom units and 13 townhomes. The residential building would wrap around the west and south sides of the parking garage and would face an anticipated extension of 29th Street, which currently stops at Main Street.

The 29th Street extension would bisect the property, connecting Main Street to Fairview Avenue. It would be a “living street” with a heavy focus on pedestrians and landscaping, according to LocalConstruct’s plan.

The retail building would face north toward Main Street.

LocalConstruct co-president Mike Brown said Monday that he’s pretty sure the project will include a mix of apartments, parking and retail space, but its concept is in the early stages of development, and its look and layout likely will change. The amount of space allotted to each sector could change, too, he said, though LocalConstruct likes the ballpark numbers it has proposed.

Brown said he hopes to break ground on the project by the end of next year and complete the first phase in 2020. He expects it to cost around $40 million.

LocalConstruct, which renovated Downtown’s historic Owyhee Hotel in recent years and is finishing apartment projects in the Central Addition neighborhood and on the corner of 14th and Idaho streets, acquired the West End lot from the city of Boise in exchange for the 20-acre Spaulding Ranch, located on North Cole Road near Mountain View Drive.

Part of that trade included the requirement that LocalConstruct include at least 10 low-income housing units in its West End project.

The developer originally planned to include a grocery store on the property. But despite enlisting a national retail developer, LocalConstruct has had no luck finding a grocer willing to open a store there, Brown said in a letter to the city.

Brown said turmoil in the grocery industry has complicated the search for a tenant willing to put a store in an area that has nothing like it so far. He said a grocery store could anchor the project’s second phase, which would occupy the lot’s western half and face Whitewater Park Boulevard. Brown said he has no target date for developing the second phase.

LocalConstruct has yet to set a target range for rents at the West End project. Brown expects they’ll be less than what LocalConstruct charges for its apartments closer to the core of Downtown.