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An early look at apartments planned for Boise’s Central Addition

LocalConstruct submitted its first documents this week for the 160-unit apartment building the company wants to build in Boise's Central Addition neighborhood.

It'll be interesting to see how people in Boise respond to the proposed design. A rendering proposes architecture that, for the most part, is pretty traditional: red or brown brick on the upper six stories, with some glass-dominated retail space on the ground floor.

Casey Lynch, one of LocalConstruct's founders, said that's a nod to Downtown's traditional architecture.

But there's a surprise, too. I had to look at the rendering a couple times to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. If it materializes the way the rendering shows, the east side of the building will have a wavy curve.

Lynch said the idea with the curve represents a more modern look that he and partner Mike Brown like to mix in with their projects' traditional elements. He called it "merging new and old."

When you think about it, that's a fitting approach for LocalConstruct. The company specializes in projects – mostly apartments – on undeveloped, blighted or underdeveloped urban land. So it makes sense that they'd try to walk the line between fitting in with surroundings and sticking out with authority.

They certainly did that with the Owyhee remodel. The building's shape and materials didn't change when Lynch and Brown turned the iconic Downtown hotel into office space and apartments, but the colors — stark black and white — depart from the rest of Downtown's look.

Does anyone out there know what architectural category the apartment building's design falls into? I sure don't. Lynch said LocalConstruct wasn't trying to adhere to one specific school or another — they just wanted their look.

Statesman entertainment reporter Dana Oland called it "contemporary spin on a modernist style."

Community reporter Anna Webb said the design gave her an impression of a "Michael Graves post-modern" style.

"Suburbia modern" was what reporter Cynthia Sewell had to say.

Lynch said the design, worked up by Portland firm Holst Architecture, is preliminary. It’s likely to change somewhat, and it might change a lot as it goes through the city of Boise’s design review and planning processes.

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