A sneak peek into construction of downtown Boise's tallest building

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by Jamie Grey

NWCN.com

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 7:20 PM

BOISE -- The new 8th and Main building in downtown Boise is now up to 13 stories tall, with 5 more yet to be built in less than a year. On Friday, KTVB captured the first video from inside and got a tour to the top.
   
By January 2014, the tallest commercial building in Idaho is set to open, with Zions Bank and other businesses, including four restaurants and a gym.

"It's a big building. This is a great site, it's a historic site. It's right in the heart of downtown, and that's what made it so attractive to us," Tommy Ahlquist, COO of the building's developer and owner Gardner Company, said. "It'll change the skyline because of its presence."
 
Ahlquist says the $76 million project has been a challenge coming out of a down economy, but he says its downtown location and major tenants, like Zions Bank, have made it an easier sell.

"Pre-leasing is hard, and in this market, coming out of a recession, trying to get all of those tenants to commit early is the hardest part, and they've all committed. We're down to just a floor and a half left in the building, if you can imagine, with a year left. The rest of it's all taken," Ahlquist said.

Some of the confirmed tenants include Zions Bank, Ruth's Chris Steak House, The Grill at 8th and Main, Flatbread Pizza Company, Idaho Technology Council, CTA Architects and Engineers, First American Title Company, Gardner Company, Babcock Design Group, Beck Advisory Group, DB Fitzpatrick, and Holland & Hart LLP. Ahlquist says another restaurant will be signing within the month and a gym will also be solidified.

The total square footage will be 391,930. The building will stand 270 feet to the top of the tallest parapet and 315 feet at the top of the spire. It will be just over three feet taller than the US Bank Building in downtown Boise.

"Right now, we're at 13 floors, so we've got 5 left until we reach the top of how tall it will be. That will happen in April," Ahlquist said.

Workers are completing the plumbing and mechanical systems inside as they build up, and in the next couple of weeks, the outside "skin" will begin to go up.

"So you'll start seeing the granite and window systems coming in," Ahlquist said.

The final inside construction will come after that, and the building is set for a January 15, 2014 grand opening. Although some Boisians have been skeptical after the last planned project failed, Ahlquist says, yes, everyone can really believe this time.

"I think that they believe us now. It's taken probably until now when you can see it, but yeah, it's happening, and right on schedule, right on time. We're exciting to be building it," Ahlquist said.

This weekend, Ahlquist says you will see even more activity on the crane as they work to build the last levels of the building.

"We're going to add another 100 feet to the crane, so the crane will actually suspend itself and add another 100 feet in, so it'll be 100 feet taller after the weekend so that it can keep going up," Ahlquist said.

The construction company in charge of this project is based in Meridian and estimates around 130 mostly local workers are on that project each day.



 

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