Developer offers 18-story condo tower instead of Garden City hotel


A story the members of BoiseDev got first.

First of all, it looked like a hotel could move up to Garden City. Now Idaho’s tallest condo project could go up instead.

Las Vegas developer Michael Talbott is changing course on his proposal to bring an 8-story hotel to Garden City along the Greenbelt at 510 East 41st Street. Instead, his company, Vida Properties, hopes to build an 18-story, 111-unit condominium with approximately 2,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

At 252 feet tall, the building would only be shorter than the eighth and the main building at 323 feet and the US Bank Building at 267 feet. It would be a bit taller than another currently proposed residential project in Boise – Ovation, which would be 231 feet tall.

Talbott appeared before the Garden City design review committee on Tuesday to discuss his proposal to change the plan. This tower, if approved, will be part of its larger plan for the region, which also includes restaurants, a public plaza and two buildings with a total of 275 apartments. Garden City initially approved the project in 2019.

At the meeting, Talbott said they decided to go with condominiums in a taller tower after studying demand for hotel rooms.

“We just decided that a hotel would be a tough game in this market,” Talbott told the committee. “We thought that a high-rise residential tower was an unknown but popular project in this city. “

This meeting was a pre-bid discussion. It will hold a public hearing before the Design Review Committee in the coming weeks, when the committee may vote to approve the project. The project is located in a commercial area with no density or height limit, so it does not require the approval of the Planning and Zoning Commission or the municipal council.

A hearing date has not yet been set.

A bit of Singapore in Garden City?

The proposed project will retain roughly the same footprint as the hotel, but will include fewer parking spaces as it is a residential project. It will have an outdoor lounge and a fitness center on the ninth floor.

The project will include 198 parking spaces in a parking garage for residents and 21 surface parking spaces for customers and businesses, as well as 111 parking spaces for bicycles.

Renderings of an 18-story tower project in Garden City. Courtesy of the architects of Erstad

Project architect Chad Weltzin, along with Erstad Architects, said the project could be bigger, but it will generate much less car traffic than a hotel. He said the location, which is close to light industrial use, Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and the River Boise, makes it ideal for a large building.

Weltzin compared the project to a promenade in Singapore with skyscrapers placed right up against the river, offering an interesting “surprise” for those who walk and cycle along the Greenbelt.

“We think the height is what makes it exciting,” Weltzin told the committee.

What did the commissioners think?

Only two of the three commissioners were present at Tuesday’s meeting and they were divided over the proposal.

Maureen Gresham said she liked the design and location, but thought 18 stories was too high. It would likely be visible from the owners’ backyards within half a mile of the property and she wanted to hear the public’s thoughts on it before she made up her mind.

“This is a drastic step,” she said at the hearing.

His colleague Commissioner Brett Labrie was impressed by the proposal. He said the surrounding apartment developments rise high towards the tower, making it an “aggressive and bold” focal point for the area to draw people in.

“When I first looked at it I thought ‘wow that’s such a big change’ but the more I looked at it I don’t have a problem with the height, said Labrie. . “I like it.”

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