REIMAGINE GROVE STREET – OLD BOISEMay 25, 2022
Years in the making, the transformation of the Old Boise Blocks on Grove Street is underway. A community visioning effort, led by CCDC, has attracted the most significant financial reinvestment in decades to one of Boise’s oldest historic neighborhoods with an array of projects in various stages of planning, construction, and completion. The revitalized Grove Street blocks from 3rd Street to 6th Street and the nearby area will include new residential buildings, restaurants, public space, and upgraded infrastructure. Together, the projects will make the area safer and more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists, better serve local residents, serve current and attract future businesses, provide event space and incorporate and honor the neighborhood’s history.
The public offered tremendous input, and the Agency listened. Nearly 700 Boiseans responded to surveys soliciting their hopes and recommendations. That feedback informed The Old Boise Blocks Visioning Report that shapes the projects and how they fit together. The Visioning Workgroup assembling the report comprises 50 stakeholders, including downtown residents, arts and cultural organizations, public agencies and local business owners, property owners and developers.
“CCDC is grateful to have led this effort to catalyze new investment,” said Karl Woods, senior project manager for the agency. “We’re especially pleased that the volume and diversity of input culminates in a plan that we believe will reshape Grove Street’s Old Boise Blocks into one of Boise’s true jewels for all to enjoy.”
The following projects are possible thanks to significant public and private investment.
521 West Grove Street Public Space
The Agency purchased a .21-acre parcel at 521 W. Grove Street to redevelop into a public space that celebrates the area’s history and culture. The project, in partnership with City of Boise Parks and Recreation, aims to include space for community events and provide an area for the public to enjoy the outdoors. An RFQ is being developed to select a team to begin outreach and design. Construction on the estimated $3.35 million project is slated for 2024.
Thomas Logan Apartments and The Lucy Apartments
These are sister developments. Thomas Logan Apartments and The Lucy Apartments share a courtyard on the block north of Grove St. between Fifth and Sixth streets. Capital Partners and deChase Miksis are the private developers. Both leverage considerable private investment with financing through Idaho Housing and Finance Association and CCDC. The projects replace what was surface-level parking with needed residential and retail mixed-use that will add rental inventory and enhance the neighborhood. An ancillary mixed-use project supported by CCDC, Home2Suites at Sixth and Front streets, supports the apartments by separating the cost of parking from the cost of housing.
Located on Sixth and Grove, Thomas Logan Apartments will provide 60 primarily affordable rentals, including units for renters earning 60% or less of the area income. The mixed-use project includes 5,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and 9,000 square feet of office space on the second floor. The developer is eligible for approximately $600,000 for public improvements in the alley and along Sixth and Grove streets.
Located on Fifth and Grove, The Lucy Apartments include 114 units and 8,000 square feet of retail space. The project includes 10 surface parking spaces located off of the alley with more parking available at the garage at Fifth and Front. The developer is eligible for approximately $1 million for public improvements along Fifth Street, Grove Street and the alley.
CW Moore Park
In partnership with Boise Parks and Recreation, the project aims to rejuvenate one of Boise’s oldest parks and accommodate residential growth. Planning underway will determine the project’s scope. Located on the southeast corner of South Fifth and West Grove streets, early plans call for installing a new play structure and replacing the hardscape to increase access and safety. Recommendations also include creating event space and incorporating features honoring the neighborhood’s history.
Old Boise Blocks on Grove Street Streetscape Improvements
Design is underway to improve the public right of way on Grove Street from Third Street to Sixth Street. The improvements are a reflection of input received from the public and private stakeholders during an award-winning outreach effort. The project will provide placemaking, improve safety and ADA concerns, celebrate the rich culture and heritage of the area, focus on the primacy of the pedestrian, provide event space and other improvements. The project is currently in the Design Review process with the City of Boise.
Under current plans, improvements will include a flush streetscape similar to the successful Basque Block, as well as utility upgrades, trees planted on the street, new furnishings, public art and new street lights. CCDC is partnering with ACHD for concrete paving and with the City of Boise for fiber optic conduit upgrades. The project cost is estimated around $3.5 million, and construction is expected to begin in late 2022 and continue into 2023.
Old Boise Blocks on Grove Street
Pathway connecting Third and Broadway
Planning is underway to provide something currently missing: a safe, dedicated pathway for pedestrians and cyclists connecting downtown to the East End Neighborhood. The 10-to-12-foot wide pathway is built into other Old Boise Blocks improvements and connects with the recently constructed multi-use pathway through Dona Larsen Park and the Pioneer Cemetery, linking from Third Street to Broadway Avenue. The project, in partnership with the City of Boise, is scheduled for design this summer with construction expected to begin in the fiscal year 2024.
The collection of projects that will enhance the Old Boise Blocks is several years in the making and will take several more to complete. Once done, one of Boise’s oldest neighborhoods will be a more lively, safe and accessible area for its increasing number of residents, for businesses and for pedestrians and cyclists. The project required intense collaboration with dozens of private and public stakeholders as well as recommendations from hundreds of locals. CCDC is grateful for the stakeholder teamwork and participation, and we’re confident that the resulting Old Boise Blocks projects will culminate in a lively and livable, accessible and enjoyable space for the entire community.