419 S. Eighth Street #206, Boise; 1,500 Square Feet; 2 Bed/1.5 Bath; $529,200 

Homeland Realty

Bryant Forrester, 208-866-7551


MLS #98394513

Downtown Boise's Eighth Street Marketplace used to be the city's warehouse district. A century ago, it was a thriving hub of commerce where a hardware store, grocer, candy maker and a paint wholesaler sold their wares alongside businesses like a storage company, creamery and an icehouse. The original block of warehouses on Eighth Street, including this structure, was built around 1907. Later, a second block of warehouses and a railroad right of way created an alley behind the first block.

Today, the alley where rail cars once unloaded their freight is a pedestrian corridor leading to an Irish pub, sushi bar and live entertainment at the Knitting Factory Concert House.

The R. Grey Lofts are located in what was the O.W. Smith Mercantile Feed and Seed Warehouse, where locals came to purchase seeds, hay, grain, rice, beans, salt, flour and produce. The spiffy new loft project turned the aging, two-story structure into a three-story mixed-use building where retail storefronts are located at street level and residences are on the second and third floors. The housing development takes its name from R. Grey Jewelers, where colorful glass objects d'art and lovely baubles are displayed in the jewelry store's windows next door to the lofts' secure entryway.

The building's 100-year-old red brick exterior contains 16 condominium lofts with thoroughly modern, sustainable finishes and contemporary styling. Green living never looked so good.

All units have been outfitted with materials like wool-blend carpets and engineered hardwood floors that were sustainably harvested and manufactured. The handsome interior color schemes were created using low- and no-VOC paints, caulks and adhesives to help keep indoor air quality high. Motion sensors control lighting in bathrooms and closets. Tall doors, extra-tall ceilings and stylish materials like stainless steel kitchen appliances, granite countertops and brushed nickel hardware create an atmosphere that is comfortably chic and suitable to a modern downtown lifestyle.

Some units come with parking stalls inside the building, but others don't, so some homeowners will need to seek parking off-site. The dwellings range in size from 900 to 2,000 square feet, and prices go from $299,000 to $872,000.

Unit 206 is listed as a two-bedroom unit, but the second bedroom is best suited as an office since it has no closet and would have to share the home's only shower, which is located in the master suite. Plate glass windows in the living room, office and master bedroom allow the owner to watch professional ballerinas practice their plies in the dance studio just across Myrtle Street at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy.

The residence's main living spaces are laid out in a great-room configuration. The living room and a private balcony are placed at the rear of the dwelling, where there are views of the pedestrian alleyway in front of the Knitting Factory. The home has a galley kitchen that can be hidden entirely behind oversized sliding barn doors.

From the R. Grey Lofts, you have downtown Boise at your doorstep. Within a two-block radius, you can walk to movies, hockey games, concerts, live theater and performing arts. A number of restaurants and shops are located within the same distance, and even more just a few blocks beyond. Like the warehouse district of old, the Eighth Street Marketplace again flourishes as a popular hub.

Pros: Loft living in the heart of downtown Boise's Cultural District.

Cons: Some units only come with off-site parking.

Open House: Saturdays, weekly, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

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