Two historic neighborhood markets that helped define Boise's East and North ends, are about to undergo big changes: One is still hoping to keep its door open while the other is transitioning to a yoga studio.
When 95-year-old Margaret Lawrence died in June 2011 (BW, Feature, "Whatever Happened to Margaret?" July 6, 2011), neighbors worried that her Hollywood Market on Eighth Street would be closed forever.
In fact, the location was a corner market since the dawn of the 20th century: the N.J. Davis and Company Grocers from 1901-1907, the Corner Grocery from 1914-1919, the C.E. Sharp Grocery in 1921, Your Grocery from 1923-1929, and the Hollywood Market from 1930 until May 8, 2011, six weeks before Lawrence died.
The location was sold by Lawrence's estate in 2012 to Sallie Herrold, who stood before the Boise Historic Preservation Commission Jan. 28 with her plans to turn the location into Hollywood Market Yoga.
In fact, the remodel, which is already under way, includes 500 square feet for a yoga studio, a new exterior courtyard and a planned mural on the north side of the building, facing Resseguie Street.
"Margaret Lawrence used to have a sign at the Hollywood Market that read, 'Happiness is spoken here,'" said Cathy Sewell of Platform Architecture Design. "We want to carry on that sort of theme for the mural. It won't be business signage."
Commissioners liked what they heard and saw.
"I think this is a great re-use of this space," said Commission Chairman Amy Pence-Brown. "And I really appreciate that."
Vice Chair Barbara Dawson agreed.
"To have a historic business that held a lot of memories be repurposed to a business that will hold new memories is a commendable effort," said Dawson.
Ultimately, the Commission voted unanimously to grant a certificate of appropriateness for the project, which is expected to go before Boise's Planning and Zoning Commission in early February.
P & Z will need to take up the issue of available on-street parking for Hollywood Market Yoga. A number of Eighth Street property owners said they thought the new business would put a strain on available parking spots for residents. But Historic Preservation Commission members reminded them that parking was not "the purview" of their body and P & Z would need to consider their complaints.
Meanwhile, another Boise landmark market's future isn't sure.
Each weekday, scores of youngsters pouring out of East Boise's Roosevelt Elementary School stop in the Roosevelt Market, the iconic corner shop on North Elm Avenue off of Warm Springs Avenue, for what co-proprietor Susan Wilder calls the after school "sugar rush."
"For an hour, we close down our sandwich bar, and it's only the kids," said Wilder. "They'll come over here and completely fill the store. We've only had a few people that have managed to come in here during the 'sugar rush,' and they don't make that mistake again."
When not full of students purchasing snacks, the Roosevelt Market is a weekend brunch stop and summertime hangout.
But earlier this month, owners of the property put the store, and a second floor apartment over the market, up for sale.
"We need to consolidate our finances," said Sheila Trounson, who shares ownership of the building with her mother, Gay Milligan.
Mother and daughter purchased the property in 2003. Wilder and her business partner, Nicki Monroe, began operating the market six months later.
Milligan and Trounson are looking for a buyer to purchase the 2,409-square-foot building, with an asking price of nearly $250,000. Listings indicate the structure was built in 1900.
"We would love it if the buyer keeps the market," said Trounson. "We're not selling it for any reason other than consolidating. It's such a fantastic community location; it's not a money-maker, it's an investment in the community is what it is."
Wilder said she was concerned the location would no longer a serve as a neighborhood market, and might go the way of the Hollywood Market.
"Our concern would be that somebody wouldn't want us here," said Wilder. "And that they'd want to purchase this and then maybe start up their own business."
Trounson said they previously offered to sell the property to Wilder and Monroe before placing the building on the market.
"They're not in a situation to do that, that I know of," said Trounson. "We really want it to stay a part of the neighborhood, but we couldn't put it contingent on the sale because we need to sell it."
Wilder pointed to a newly launched blog, saverooseveltmarket.blogspot.com, which suggests East End residents could work together to purchase the building in a "community-owned" model and preserve its role "as a permanent historic, economic and cultural asset for the East End."