Multifamily Housing and the Expansion in the Treasure Valley

As access to affordable housing becomes a crisis in the Treasure Valley, multifamily units are seeing unprecedented popularity.

With the news that Canyon County home prices are at a record high and the Boise Metropolitan area only creates 75 new homes for every 100 new households in the region, problems of supply and demand in a rapidly changing environment take centerstage. Prices rise while new constructions maintain a slower pace. Those in the Treasure Valley looking for affordable housing turn to alternative housing options while combating concerns of density and alteration to the region they know and love.

Per a market report courtesy of Boise First Class Real Estate's Amber Stockert-Hall, recent data shows that active listings for new constructions are at a 12-month low in both Ada and Canyon Counties. This coupled with the 2.6% rise in the value of existing homes in the same period represents a tightening of the market in which an increasing number of Treasure Valley residents are facing a decreasing number of available, affordable homes. With the city of Boise listed as the 20th fastest growing city in the nation, the decrease in new construction listings from last year may come with surprise and concern.

To combat the limited accessibility of traditional single-family homes, the Treasure Valley is investing in multifamily housing complexes. Multifamily units are being permitted at unprecedented levels throughout the Valley as a whole, with only one in five of these new units being built in the city of Boise. Meridian represents the biggest builder of these multifamily complexes in the area, with Eagle and Canyon County also contributing. The Treasure Valley has always had a lower than average proportional number of these constructions, so these new developments are a change that have some residents worried about how the density and growth will affect the area, even if they offer some relief from rising housing costs.

Growth is a complex issue for any community, and in Idaho where natural sights, resources, and recreational areas abound, the expansion of urban environments presents concerns. Rapid population growth does not appear to be slowing down in the foreseeable future. Multifamily housing units are a cheaper option, but the cost of rent is also on the rise. Residents of the Treasure Valley worry that large-scale developments will only further congest already crowded streets or build on ground currently occupied by wildlife. A housing crisis exists here in the Valley, but it seems all potential solutions come with their own pros and cons.

Multifamily Developments Coming to the Treasure Valley

Visum Development Building

New York developer Visum applied to the city of Boise to construct an eight-story apartment building complete with 75 rental units. This building would go up on 600 W. Front St. in Downtown Boise, where the developer had originally planned to include only bike-racks for a clientele it imagined would not necessary need vehicles or would be able to take advantage of nearby parking garages. Visum is now reportedly re-thinking that decision, but still intends to market to downtown employees and students. 

·       75 apartments

·       Downtown Boise

·       Bike-racks and little-to-no parking spaces

·       Marketed towards students and workers

Roe Street Townhouses

Developer Trilogy Idaho is in the review process for the second phase of its planned stretch of 12 buildings that encompass 62 townhouses. These townhouses are to be built at 6058 N. Roe St in Northwest Boise, joining the existing townhomes and apartment complexes in the area.

·       62 new townhouses

·       Single and multi-family

·       Existing townhomes price from $279,000 for 3 bedrooms

Molinari Park

Boise resident Greg McVay has been working with the city of Eagle to make changes to a proposed development in Eagle. The project, titled Molinari Park, seeks to provide a range of housing at different price points and is comprised of 216 apartments and 91 townhouses around a commercial hub for its tenants. McVay’s new proposal features an updated design per Eagle City Council’s request.

·       216 apartment units

·       91 townhouses

·       Pedestrian commercial area

·       Marketed towards working families