The new owners of Boise's century-old Owyhee Plaza revealed their plans this morning, which include giving the Main Street landmark a significant facelift.
"We have two major objectives," Clay Carley told Citydesk in November 2012, when he bought the building. "No. 1, to bring a lot of the original architecture back to life, and No. 2, and perhaps more importantly, to activate and energize the entire hotel."
But a hotel is not in the Owyhee's future.
This morning, Carley announced that the existing operator of the Owyhee, Owyco, Inc. has elected to cease operation on Monday, April 1 "due to an increasingly competitive hospitality market in Boise." Carley said 68 hotel rooms will be converted into 36 apartments, while 30 rooms that are considered part of the Owyhee's "motel" to the south along Grove Street will be demolished.
“Functionally and stylistically, this portion of the property doesn’t fit the historic character of the Owyhee Plaza,” said Carley.
Carley also said his renovation would include a "revitalization of the banquet facilites" and 60,000 square feet of office and retail space.
Many of the Owyhee's 80 employees will be kept on to run the ongoing operations including food and beverage service, the Plaza Grill and the Gamekeeper Lounge.
Carley also announced that he is working on securing a restaurant to anchor the street-level presence of the former Gamekeeper restaurant. He also plans to revive the historic rooftop garden terrace at the Owyhee. The Architects Office of Boise and Beebe Skidmore out of Portland, Ore. have been engaged for the redesign.
"Mindfully making spaces that bring people together to live, work, socialize, and share ideas is instrumental to our team’s vision," he said.