Downtown Boise Apartments Going Upscale

Dated: 10/21/2014

Views: 1225

Downtown Boise apartments going upscale

Once bitten and not a bit shy, the L.A. developer hopes its 5th and Myrtle complex sparks a neighborhood revival.

Mike Brown and Casey Lynch always saw their renovation of the Owyhee Hotel as a way to measure Boise's appetite for high-end, market-rate apartments Downtown.With 31 of the Owyhee's 36 apartments leased, the partners are convinced they can offer the same product on a much larger scale, Lynch said Monday. Late last month, their company, Local Construct, paid $1.5 million for the east half of the lot between 5th, 6th, Myrtle and Broad streets in Boise's Central Addition neighborhood, Lynch said. They plan to build a seven-story, 160-unit complex, which would include commercial, parking and live work space on the first two floors. Lynch said they'll break ground next summer and finish construction by the fall of 2016.They expect to charge around $900 for a studio apartment, $1,100 for a one-bedroom and $1,300 for a two-bedroom unit, Lynch said. That's more than most Boiseans pay, but Lynch thinks there's a market for smaller, nicer rentals. Partly, his conclusion is based on renters' enthusiasm for the Owyhee apartments, the rents for which are about the same.If Lynch and Brown succeed on the $24 million Central Addition project, which they're calling The Roost, they will have met nearly one-fifth of the city of Boise's stated goal of 1,000 new Downtown homes by 2019. They're also on the verge of buying property just across 5th Street, where they hope to build a similar, though not identical, project.HISTORIC ANGSTThe Local Construct project is sure to cause anxiety among Boise's history lovers. With a plat as old as the state of Idaho, the Central Addition neighborhood is one of the first subdivisions outside Boise's original town site. In its heyday, it was home to some of the city's most notable residents, including a Supreme Court justice and a secretary of state. The Central Addition's gem is the Fowler house at 413 S. 5th St. For almost a decade, Dan Everhart and his fellow preservationists have tried to find someone to save the Fowler House, which is in the middle of the nearly 1-acre parcel where Lynch and Brown plan to put The Roost. Everhart said Monday he's not surprised about the plans to redevelop that land. He hopes that Local Construct's plan will prod someone into saving the Fowler House and the houses on either side of it."Just the potential that those buildings may eventually go away has not been enough to light a fire under any particular individual," Everhart said. "I would hope that this announcement and the ticking clock, as it were, would help to spur that conversation and to really let someone know who might have thought to themselves ... 'I'll do something when there might be more of a need.' Now there clearly is the possibility of a need here."Lynch said he and his partner want to save the houses if possible. "We're obviously very sensitive to the historic nature of that area, and I want to make sure that we work closely with them to find a solution to, most likely, relocate the homes," he said.THE LONG GAMEBrown and Lynch often talk about their desire for housing projects that have staying power, instead of building them and then turning them over to a new owner as soon as a profitable offer comes along. Their plan for The Roost fits that goal perfectly, Lynch said. Besides making money off the tenants, he said, the partners want to trigger a revival in the Central Addition and enhance Downtown's long-term desirability. That's why, in addition to 160 apartments, The Roost would include a restaurant or bar as an anchor commercial store, as well as 10 or so units where people can live, operate a small business or both.
"How can we make it as flexible as possible so that we can attract as many different types of users as possible?" Lynch said
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Mike Turner

Trivia about Mike: Prior to working in real estate, Mike worked for few years on movies and TV shows around the world as a Camera Boat Operator and Marine Logistics Coordinator, including the TV serie....

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