Apartment complex planned for former railroad property on Boise Bench

Don Day
BoiseDev.com EXCLUSIVE

Disclosure: This project is helmed by Vista Village LLC which is owned by my family. I have no personal stake in the business, but it's important to note my dad and other relatives do. The information contained here comes from public filings with the exception of comment from a developer's representative - who is my cousin. 

A dusty, sagebrush-filled piece of ground on Boise's Bench would be transformed into a 90-unit apartment complex known as Station Village if a plan is approved by the City of Boise. 

Vista Village LLC has applied to convert the last significant piece of undeveloped ground on the Boise Bench into the project. The apartments would be located in five buildings on the roughly 7-acre triangular piece of ground. Thirty-six one-bedroom, 39 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom apartments are proposed.

Developers also plan a 1600 square foot clubhouse with fitness room, plus a garden area, walking paths and sports court.  The project sits up at the rim of the Bench, and some units will have views of the foothills and Boise State campus.

"It is exciting to see the area grow and even more so to still be a part of that positive change after all these decades," developer Andrew Jacobs said.

The development is adjacent to Vista Village - the state's first shopping center, first developed by the Day family in 1949.  The family also developed the nearby neighborhood behind the shopping center in the early 1950s.

HUD rental vacancies in the Boise market

HUD rental vacancies in the Boise market

It's the latest in an apartment boom surrounding the Boise State University campus - with a number of developments in the Lusk St. area, Depot Lofts on Vista and a proposed complex at Beacon St. & Boise Ave. The latest market report from the US Department of Housing & Urban Development shows demand for residential rentals is "slightly tight," in the words of the government. Vacancy rates were at 4.3% as of January 1st of this year - nearly half the 8.2% vacancy rate from 2010.

The property was formerly owned by the Union Pacific Railroad and was used to turn trains around in service of the nearby Boise Depot. The existing low-use tracks will remain.