The City of Boise and Adare Manor LLC have entered into a lease option agreement for the property located at 2403 & 2409 West Fairview Avenue. Adare Manor LLC is proposing a downtown housing development of ~120 housing units fronting on Fairview Avenue. The $18.5 million development will bring needed housing as well as numerous residents who will contribute to the vibrancy of the neighborhood.
A June meeting brought forward some great news about West End development plans, but it also brought to light some concerns with long term connectivity and parking solutions. By 2020, there is over $150 million of planned development in the West End and the need for over 1500 parking spaces, which could amount to over 10 acres if it were all surface parked. In the coming months and years, these developments need a cohesive strategy to realize a synergistic vision.
The City of Boise sees the great benefits of downtown housing, and Adare Manor plans to bring an additional 120 units to our downtown. This 2.5 acre project is planned to be a mixed income development and will be at 24th Street and Fairview Avenue. Two years ago the Main & Fairview corridor had about 29 acres of vacant land ready for development, and with this most recent announcement, only 10 acres remain with no development plans.
A couple weeks ago, I was at a Urban Land Institute conference on housing trends in the Treasure Valley. While there, it was interesting to listen to a group, Local Construct, who has recently purchased two deals in downtown Boise (the city block at 15th & Bannock, and the Owyhee Plaza in partnership with longtime Boise downtown owner Clay Carley) with plans to do residential. They had a great presentation full of statistics on why there is an unmet demand for housing in our downtown.
In this presentation it discusses several different aspects on why there is an unmet demand, and my favorite is on page 8 where it shows the employee to resident population. Let's just say Boise has lots of employees downtown compared to residents when compared to other cities around the nation! I pulled out my calculator and began running some numbers to see how many units may be needed in downtown to bring our employee/resident ratio to the average of the 7 other cities on the slide (3.7 employees for every 1 resident). I was quickly surprised to see an unmet demand of housing units in excess of 2500 units for downtown Boise!!!
Later in the presentation it shows 5 studies that have been performed in the past on this very same topic, and they show an average unmet demand of 940 units. Right now in the works, there are approximately 100-200 units in the planning stage for downtown Boise...I think there is room for lots more!