Boise & Garden City

These 125 proposed apartments will have access to Boise State and the Greenbelt.

A sign signaling a new Crunch Fitness has hung on the former Park Center Health and Racquet building, 1250 S. Division Ave. for months. Now, the developer is throwing out those plans and making new ones. He plans to demolish the deteriorating building and put apartments there instead.

Greg Ferney of Venus Development wants to build a four- or five-story apartment complex with parking and retail space on the first floor, and 125 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments above. The 3-acre property is near Boise State University, just south of Parkcenter Boulevard and west of Barbacoa Grill.

“In analyzing the layout and location, because of the proximity to Boise State and Downtown, it seemed like the highest and best use for the property would be for living,” Ferney said in a phone interview with the Statesman.

Originally, Ferney considered building a multistory self-storage business on the property. But he felt the parcel’s prime location near the Boise River Greenbelt and public transportation options made it better suited for apartments.

By including retail space on the corner for a future coffee shop or restaurant, Ferney hopes to integrate the. apartments into the neighborhood.

The land is owned by D. D. Dunlap, a commercial real estate and property management company headquartered in Huntington Beach, California.

Ferney declined to say what he will pay D. D. Dunlap for the parcel, or the future cost of construction. “We’re too early in the process,” he said.

Ferney’s development team will host a public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at the Holiday Inn at 475 West Parkcenter Blvd.

He hopes to bring the project before the Boise City Council to approve a conditional use permit before the end of the summer.

The project is just the latest in a string of apartments proposed around Downtown. LocalConstruct plans to build an eight-story building with 161 apartment sat the southeast corner of Broad and 4th streets. Boise developer Clay Carley has proposed a six-story apartment with ground-floor businesses at 5th and Grove streets. Gardner Co. wants to build a six-story building at 749 E. Park Boulevard, across the Broadway Bridge from Boise State.

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Kate reports on West Ada and Canyon County for the Idaho Statesman. She previously wrote for the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Providence Business News. She has been published in The Atlantic and BuzzFeed News. Kate graduated from Brown University with a degree in urban studies.