Monday, November 14, 2011

Proposal Unveiled to Convert Macy's Into Affordable Housing

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Empty Macys building at 10th and Idaho
  • George Prentice
  • The empty Macy's building at 10th and Idaho streets may find a new life as affordable housing.

A bit of a bombshell at today's meeting of the Capital City Development Corporation: The old Macy's building at 10th and Idaho streets, which has sat empty since its March 2010 closure, could become the home of affordable housing.

A representative from Colliers International, which has been brokering the building since the retailer moved out, and an associate from Northwest Real Estate Capital, a nonprofit that specializes in management of affordable rental apartments, came before CCDC to talk about their (up until now) confidential plans to turn the 118,000-square-foot building into approximately 60 rental units with additional space on the ground floor for retail or nonprofit entities.

"For the last year, we've been pretty challenged while trying to market the building," Dave Wali from Colliers told CCDC. "Two potential buyers have come and gone. And now, we like this concept of bringing affordable housing to the city's inner core."

Wali and and Raquel Guglielmetti from NWRECC unveiled their plan to negotiate for the building. They've already begun conversations with as many as seven banks for a loan approaching $4-$5 million. They're looking for additional assistance from CCDC and other possible partners

"We would need to completely gut and revamp every element of the building for this renovation," said Wali.

Guglielmetti told Citydesk that the original plans envision as many as 62 apartment units, ranging in size from 518 to 1,000 square-feet. The suggested price would be $1.04 per square foot per month.

"These apartments would be targeted for people with an average income of $20,000-$27,000," said Guglielmetti. "Downtown Boise has a lot of condos, but very few rental units that are affordable."

Wali and Guglielmetti told Citydesk that they have secured a so-called "confidential agreement" with Macy's to work on the deal.

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