YMCA looks to the future. Will it replace its aging downtown Boise building?

·5 min read

The Treasure Valley Family YMCA announced Monday plans to build a new four-story, $45 million building to replace its aging downtown location.

The project would be part of a larger development that includes mixed-income housing, retail shops, expanded affordable child care and health and wellness services offered by the YMCA and a health care partner on two adjacent blocks owned by the Capital City Development Corp., Boise’s redevelopment agency.

“The Y has been an important part of Boise’s history since 1891,” YMCA CEO David Duro said in a press release. “There is no other place that brings the entire community together, people of differing backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and income levels, like the Y. Our continued presence in downtown Boise is critical to our Y and the community.”

The $180.6 million proposal was submitted to the CCDC by Edlen and Company, deChase Miksis, and Elton Companies. Their plan calls for more than 600 apartments split between a 20-story building at 10th and Jefferson streets and a seven-story building at 11th and State streets.

The project would require $20.5 million of investment from the CCDC for land, public parking and reimbursement for improvements.

The project is one of three proposals submitted last month after the CCDC requested bids in May for the area known as Block 68, the block’s number on Boise’s original plat map in the 19th century. Redevelopment would take place on the block bordered by State, 11th, Jefferson and 10th streets, just two blocks west of the Capitol.

The three proposals were unveiled Monday at a CCDC board meeting. A review committee will spend the next 60 to 90 days examining the proposals and interviewing the developers before submitting findings and comments to agency employees. Staff members will consider the findings and rank the proposals presenting them to the board, CCDC spokesperson Jordyn Neerdaels said.

Two aging commercial buildings and some parking lots occupy the block today — the former Idaho Sporting Goods store on the block’s north half, at 421 N. 10th St., and a two-story office building on the south half, at 1010 W. Jefferson St.

The CCDC sought proposals with at least 225 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments on the sites of the buildings and their parking lots, which together take up more than half the block.

If the developer with the winning proposal also bought the remaining surface parking lots on the block, and possibly other parking lots on adjoining blocks, more than 500 living units could be built, according to CCDC.

Why YMCA’s State Street building needs an upgrade

The YMCA commissioned a study of the existing building in 2017, which determined that the nonprofit needed a $20 million investment in mechanical and structural systems to sustain the operation of the current location, built in 1968. Those upgrades would not have addressed capacity limitations, or accessibility problems for people with disabilities and parking.

The current building, with 80,149 square feet on three main levels, was built in 1968 and expanded in 1985 and 1999. Hallways and stairways wind through the building. The new building would have to conform with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

“In the current building, if you’re in a wheelchair or you have a disability, you can get around, but it’s not as easy as it should be,” Duro said. “We just want anybody of any ability to come in and know that it’s going to be as easy for them as it is for anyone else.”

The new YMCA would be housed in a four-story building across State Street from the current building, while the separate 20-story residential building would be on the Jefferson Street side of the same block. The existing YMCA building would be replaced by the second, seven-story residential building.

To pay for the proposed new building, the YMCA plans a $25 million capital campaign over the next two years. The other $20 million would come from other funding sources, including community partnerships and the sale of various downtown YMCA assets.

There would be 18,000 square feet of retail space, 26,000 square feet of health care or education space and 14,000 square feet for a YMCA child development center. The YMCA’s main building would take up 98,000 square feet.

All but 65 of the 220 units in the 20-story building would be rented for below market rates. They would have 550 square feet to 850 square feet, and those rented at market price would be between $1,625 and $2,083 per month.

The apartments in the seven-story building would be the same size, but rent for slightly more, from $1,694 to $2,176.

The development would also include more than 500 parking spaces between the two residential buildings, including 158 spaces for the CCDC’s ParkBoi system for public use and 131 stalls for the YMCA.

YMCA development project will compete with two other proposals

The two other proposals focus on housing, with smaller buildings and fewer units.

One of the other developers, Green Street Real Estate Ventures, proposed a $90 million residential building and an adjacent parking garage. The 17-story residential building, in an “L-shape,” would have 239 apartments and 3,300 square feet of retail space. Sixty-six of the apartments would rent for below market rates.

Also split between studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, the Green Street building would have units with between 580 square feet and 1,015 square feet. Market rent would be between $1,494 and $2,071 per month.

The six-story parking garage, to be located at 1010 W. Jefferson, would have 431 spaces for use by apartment tenants and the public. The building would also have 7,500 square feet of commercial space.

It would require $20.9 million from the CCDC.

The third proposal, from PEG Companies, would consist of 345 apartments in a 16-story building. Six stories would contain 575 parking spaces. Nearly 300 of the parking stalls would be sold to the CCDC for its ParkBoi system for public use. That proposal did not list an estimated cost.

PEG Companies’ project would feature apartments sized from 500 square feet to 905 square feet. Market rents would range from $1,439 to $2,633 per month.

Its proposal said it would seek CCDC funding for parking and a discounted rate to buy the land but did not provide a dollar amount.

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