Waterfront District Townhomes; Off 36th Street in Garden City; Built: 2007-2008; 1,996 sq. ft., 3/bed, 3.5 bath

| June 11, 2008
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$349,900-$429,900

Smith & Coelho, Listing Agent: Bill Crum

O: 208-866-9311

MLS# 98334755

The Waterfront District is a new infill development in Garden City located on the site of a former meatpacking plant in an industrial stretch of 36th and Adams streets. When completed, the development will provide a mix of single-family, condo, townhouse, live/work residential type opportunities in a range of price points with amenities like a community clubhouse, private beach, pool and access to the Boise River, the Greenbelt and the future whitewater park.

Twenty-three units are spread across five buildings. Three units have been sold, and of those still for sale, some have yet to be finished inside. Local modular home manufacturer, Guerdon Enterprises LLC, fabricated the modular units used for some of the townhomes in their factory and then transported them to the site for positioning. Most prefab housing is identified as mobile or manufactured homes, but within the last 10 years, prefab has taken on a new life with the industry exploring the cost advantages while attempting to bring high-end design to a product that satisfies the masses.

All of the units are three stories tall and have modulated exterior facades with projecting bays punctuated by large glass openings, roof decks and a mix of siding material, pattern and color. Parking is provided in a semi-subterranean garage accessed through a back alley. Guest parking is along the street.

In the end unit I toured, a set of concrete stairs leads to the side entry front door, opening into the living/dining/kitchen areas. The first floor has 10-foot ceilings, wide-plank hardwood flooring and traditional trim and detailing. The kitchen has an island, gray quartz countertops, tiled backsplash and stained wood paneled cabinets. A half-bath sits off the side, as well as a pantry and access to the stairs that lead down to the garage and small shop.

The second floor has two bedrooms, one of which is the master. Linen and storage closets are abundant. One of the bedrooms has large windows that look directly down on a metal industrial building but also out to the Foothills. This might have been the place to put higher windows to block the building but not the hills. The master has its own bath, equipped with a large shower and double vanities. Throughout the upper floors, the palette of materials and color is beige, with beige carpet and tile, tan walls with white trim and doors.

The third floor has one bedroom (with the same view issues as the second floor), full bath and a bonus/flex space with access to a large outdoor deck. The deck has concrete pavers and is hooked up for water and gas. There are amazing views of the downtown and Foothills.

PROS: Flexible living opportunities. Putting the kitchen and living areas on the upper floors would make for a fantastic live/work set-up. With the bulk of the units not yet finished, that should not be too much of an issue. It's five minutes to downtown, has access to the Greenbelt, Boise River and the future Esther Simplot Park. The on-going positive and progressive transformation of Garden City, make this a great infill development and living opportunity. The views from the roof deck are pretty amazing. Little or no exterior maintenance.

CONS: With some of the benefits of prefab—more economical construction and quicker to the market—it seems it would provide opportunities for more affordable units. That does not appear to be the case with these townhomes. But the live/work option and opportunity to finish out your own units certainly can make the price tag easier to swallow. The development is on an edge site between mixed-use and the river.

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