1463 W. Grand Ave. #103; Built in 2007; 953 Square Feet; 2 Bed/1.5 Bath 

$181,000

Keller Williams Realty Boise

Joyce Little, 208-371-7200

Grandavenueboise.com

MLS #98345335

This column is part two in a three-part series about a trio of local projects that won Grow Smart Awards from Idaho Smart Growth this past November. This week we'll look at the Grand Avenue Condominiums located just outside the Linen District in downtown Boise.

The Grand Avenue condos earned a Grow Smart Award in the Infill category for their near-downtown location and appealing design. They were developed by Neighborhood Housing Services to bring workforce housing closer to the city's center. The project also enhances the revitalization of downtown Boise's West End, which began with the Linen District in 2005.

The boxy, modern appearance of the 20-unit complex provides an urban aesthetic within a neighborhood comprised of several new multi-unit dwellings and a number of aging single-family cottages that look like they would benefit from careful restoration.

The project's townhouse styling and earthy sage, wheat and tan exterior palette makes each residence feel like a cozy, contemporary home. Units range in size from about 740 to 1,330 square feet and cost between $144,000 and $241,000. Floor plans start at 2-bed/1-bath and go as large as 3-bed/2-bath models. Although the project sits adjacent to the I-184 Connector at the Myrtle Street off-ramp, the building's dual-pane windows and extra-thick walls do a good job of muting traffic noise.

I looked at the furnished model, #103. The main level of the two-story dwelling has a cozy great-room layout with a half bathroom, while upstairs there are two bedrooms, a laundry closet and a full bathroom. The second floor also has two private balconies. A small covered one shared by both bedrooms faces the street and provides views of the Foothills and downtown skyline, while a second, larger balcony at the rear of the home overlooks the gated parking lot and a small community courtyard.

Unit #103 comes with secure carport parking so the new owner can park directly behind his or her back door without having to schlep through a parking lot. The carports also help to shield the neighbors' cars from view as you relax on the rear balcony.

Inside, walls are painted a soft, buttery hue. There is hardwood flooring on the main level and sand-colored carpeting underfoot in the private quarters upstairs. The great room has an open kitchen with khaki-colored granite countertops and a raised breakfast bar. Cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances define the small kitchen, and a pair of white pendant lights punctuates the breakfast bar. The triangular wall formed by the interior stairway is highlighted with cherry-stained wood panels that cleverly conceal two hidden storage compartments.

The Grand Avenue Condominiums are located one block from Donnie Mac's Trailer Park Cuisine and Big City Coffee, two casually hip eateries on Grove Street in the Linen District. The downtown core is about 11 blocks away, making the condos a terrific option for anyone who works in the area who may be tired of the daily commute to and from the outlying suburbs.

The Boise River and the Greenbelt are just three blocks from the front door, as is Ann Morrison Park, where cross-country skiers can glide across the snow-covered, 145-acre park in the winter. Grand Avenue is worth a look for anyone who wants to spend less than $250,000 for a condo located within walking or cycling distance of downtown Boise.

Pros: Stylish condos near downtown Boise and Greenbelt.

Cons: The freeway sits across the street from the front door.

Open House: Weekly, Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m.

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