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One CCDC Meeting: Three High-Profile Downtown Boise Projects


When the Capital City Development Corporation board of directors gavels into session Monday, June 8, the urban renewal agency will take up several high-profile projects.

"The Afton" project will bring a mixed-use condo/commercial development to the area bordered by Ninth and River streets.The project is named for Emory Afton, the president of a wholesale electric parts company that sat on the land parcel in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s.

"Honestly, we just thought 'Afton' was a pretty cool name," Michael Hormaechea, manager of Boise-based RMH, told Boise Weekly.

Meanwhile, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has identified some contamination at the site and the project will need to wait until a full environmental assessment is completed before moving forward. That means CCDC, which still owns the land, will need to assess the cost of remediation before any transfers can occur. In order to test the soil, three existing buildings on the site—two small buildings and a brick warehouse—will need to be razed. The demolition is expected to occur later this month.

Next, CCDC will consider a conditional letter of commitment for a new apartment/retail project at the site of the former Gibson's Funeral Home at Fifth and Idaho streets. That's where developers Clay Carley, Tim Gibson, Peter Oliver and Dean Pape want to build an $11 million project that would include 84 apartments, 3,000 square feet of retail, underground parking stalls and 6,000 square feet for an adjoining public park/plaza in the Old Boise neighborhood. 

CCDC is being asked to contribute as much as $1.24 million to the project: $515,000 for the park/plaza, $350,000 for potential reimbursement for underground public utilities and $275,000 for streetscapes.

The board will also be asked to authorize the agency's executive director to negotiate exclusively with LocalConstruct, which recently convinced CCDC that the California-based developer should be the one to build a mixed-use project at the corner of Idaho and 14th streets, the current site of the Watercooler business incubator, owned by CCDC.

LocalConstruct's $4 million proposal would include 32 market-rate apartments and seven more live/work units on the street level. Company officials said the rates for their studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments would be similar to rates currently charged at another of its recent projects, The Owyhee, where units cost $950-$1,1150 per month.

The project would also bring a so-called "pocket park" to the front corner of the building. Pending a final agreement with CCDC, LocalConstruct indicated it was ready to break ground and get going with the project sooner than later. The building could open its doors as soon as 2016.