Remember Boise’s old Smoky Davis meat shop? See what’s set to be built on that site soon

·3 min read

The old Smoky Davis smoked meat shop site on State Street will soon be put to new use: affordable housing. It may not offer Smoky’s famous beef jerky, but the apartments will still be a hot deal for that those making less than $53,000 per year.

The city of Boise has just awarded a contract to an Idaho developer to build a five-story apartment building that will include 35 units for households earning less than the local median income and five for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

A team of local leaders spent the last several months receiving and evaluating proposals from developers to build affordable apartments on the now city-owned land at 3912 W. State St. west of Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Targeted for mixed-income renters, at least 35 of the apartments will be designated for households earning between 30% and 100% of the area median income. City officials said they are putting “particular emphasis” on providing housing for households earning below 60% of the median. Rental prices of the new apartment has not been released.

Boise’s 2021 median area income is $52,700 for a one-person household, $60,200 for a two-person, $67,800 for a three-person and $75,300 for a four-person. The project’s lowest targeted resident earning 30% of that would have an income of $15,810, the approximate income of a full-time minimum wage earner, for a one-person household.

“We are at a critical moment in time,” said Mayor Lauren McLean in a news release. “Housing affordability is top of mind for so many Boise residents, at every age, income level and demographic. As a city, we are working hard to identify and maximize opportunities to relieve as much of the very real pressure our residents are feeling around housing. The land at State and Arthur will allow us to do just that – develop housing at affordable rates for many of our community members.”

At least five apartment units will be dedicated to the Our Path Home program. Our Path’s Home’s other projects include Housing First initiatives New Path, an apartment building at 2200 W. Fairview Ave. for people who were chronically homeless, and Valor Pointe, an apartment building for veterans who were chronically homeless, at 4203 W. State St., less than a quarter mile from the Smoky Davis site.

The Veterans Park apartments will be built on property bought using funds from the city’s Housing Land Trust. The trust “leverages city-owned property to create housing for residents at all income levels and ensure that it remains affordable into the future,” says the city’s website.
The Veterans Park apartments will be built on property bought using funds from the city’s Housing Land Trust. The trust “leverages city-owned property to create housing for residents at all income levels and ensure that it remains affordable into the future,” says the city’s website.

City officials sought community guidance on the apartment’s design from a public survey, door-to-door canvassing around the site, and virtual meetings with the principal at nearby Taft Elementary School and presidents of surrounding neighborhood associations.

A review team comprising city leaders and the Veteran’s Park Neighborhood Association selected the winner.

The Pacific Cos., of Eagle, builds apartments, senior living centers, workforce housing and charter schools.

Its design proposal features a masonry and wood exterior, a patio with seating, a community garden, a pathway, and a pollinator-friendly and water-wise landscape.

“We are honored to be trusted with this opportunity to deliver critically needed affordable housing to the residents of Boise,” said Caleb Roope, founder and CEO of The Pacific Cos., in the news release.

The city bought the State Street property from the Ada County Highway District last year for $765,000 using funds from its Housing Land Trust. The apartment building will be owned by the developer, but the land will remain under trust ownership.

The highway district had taken the land from the owners of Smoky Davis using eminent domain, despite the owners’ objection, to widen State Street and reduce traffic congestion. Smoky Davis was demolished in 2017 after 64 years in business.

The highway district, which initially offered $248,260 for the property, eventually paid owners Gary and Dee Davis an out-of-court settlement of $1.8 million.

Sally Krutzig covers Treasure Valley growth and development. Have a story suggestion or a question? Email Krutzig at skrutzig@idahostatesman.com.

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