by Andrew Crisp
Property owners in Boise's Lusk Street neighborhood, wedged between Ann Morrison Park and Capitol Boulevard, were treated to something of an open house Wednesday night by a potential new neighbor—a 500-bedroom student housing project planned for South Lusk Place.
Though the project is in its infancy, a proposal to build a four-story apartment building, geared toward Boise State's student population, could see life as early as 2015. Guy Thomlinson, representing GG Land Group, LLC, said the project could be submitted to Boise planning and zoning in the next two months.
"It's like an A+ apartment building, if you will," Thomlinson, joined by Becky McKay of Engineering Solutions, told a group of neighbors including owners of Jim's Appliance and the Anniversary Inn.
Plans call for a four-story structure with a footprint shaped like the number nine, ringing a pool courtyard and incorporating a central "club house," as Thomlinson called it. Approximately 160 units would feature just over 500 bedrooms. Units would range from one to four bedrooms, each with their own bathroom, priced in the $500-per-month range per bedroom.
Neighbors quickly raised concerns about parking during Wednesday evening's meeting. But Thomlinson pointed to plans for parking along Lusk Place and a visitor parking area near the main entrance. He said he believed 50 percent of the project's residents would bring a car.
"We really advocate biking or walking," he said.
Additionally, the developer plans an off-site parking garage behind Jim's Appliance, 1115 Lusk St.
While much of the Lusk Street neighborhood holds commercial uses, neighbors conceded an influx of students to the neighborhood resulted from the growing university across Capitol Blvd. Thomlinson told the group Boise State owns eight acres in the neighborhood, with plans to someday build a classroom on that side of the street.
In 2012, the city green-lighted plans for a separate project, 1004 Royal Blvd, designed for 622 residents on a 3.4-acre parcel adjacent to the Boise River greenbelt.
Thomlinson told attendees plans for the Lusk Place development would come before the group once more before an application was submitted to P&Z or Design Review.