Afton condo project among 2017 Grow Smart Award recipients

By: CTA Staff
21 November 2017
Mike Hormaechea (second from left) accepts a 2017 Grow Smart Award for The Afton alongside other 2017 recipients for the Boise Transportation Action Plan, City Center Plaza, and West Little Avenue Complete Street. (More on their projects here.)

The Afton project has been named a 2017 Grow Smart Award winner from Idaho Smart Growth!

With many years of experience building coalitions, conducting assessments, completing research and providing training and presentations, Idaho Smart Growth helps planners, elected officials, developers, designers, advocates, health care professionals, teachers, parents and others to create safe, healthy, vibrant communities. A 501C3 nonprofit specializing in education, assistance, and advocacy, Idaho Smart Growth helps Idaho communities of all sizes become great places, working within the overlap of land use, transportation, and community development.

Following are the award submittal and letter of support from the City of Boise that helped earn the award.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The Afton condominium complex was designed and implemented to provide a new, different, and exceptional way of living in our thriving yet rapidly growing urban environment. Formulated after extensive engagement with the local community to assess needs and solicit opinions, this project notably increases the quality of Boise’s built environment while also providing a unique design promoting smart growth and diversity in living.

The City of Boise’s initiative to create 1,000 units of downtown housing within a decade was a catalyst for this building achievement. The challenge: to revitalize a former warehouse lot surrounded by the vibrancy of the BoDo district, the Boise River Greenbelt, multiple theaters, Zoo Boise, Boise Art Museum, and several parks. The Afton directly supports the city’s initiative while also complementing the character of its eclectic surroundings. Transportation opportunities for future residents will be prevalent, with the Greenbelt a block away, a bus stop across the street, parking on-site, and access to an incredibly walkable downtown core right outside their front doors.

Phase 1 of The Afton is an 80,000 sq. ft., six-story, mixed-use building, including 27 condos with a variety of living sizes and options. Along with 4,000 sq. ft. of retail space, the first and second floors offer secure dedicated parking, while the third floor boasts a rooftop patio complete with a dog run, barbecue, and grass areas. Other amenities include storage units for every tenant, bike parking and repair areas, and a pet bathing station. Phase 2 will include 30-plus additional units and 80,000 sq. ft. of space. Altogether, The Afton supports the Boise lifestyle and creates a unique way of living.

The genesis of The Afton was a collaborative and innovative design effort. Thanks to the partnership between CTA Architects Engineers, GGLO, Andersen Construction, The Land Group, Axiom PLLC, Musgrove Engineering, and developer Mike Hormaechea, it is an example of excellence in architecture and landscape architecture, and creating a holistic environment that increases the quality of Boise living. The Afton was created to complement the growth of downtown Boise and provide an opportunity to live smack in the middle of it. Our joint team provided concentrated experience in urban housing – this translated into superior design and execution. Collective experience aided the project in avoidance of the reinvention of Downtown Boise living, electing instead to seamlessly integrate into the existing fiber of its environment.

Adopting a look in homage to past warehouses that previously stood on River Street, the design is contextually appropriate to the neighborhood while also providing comfortable living and diversity in use. Each condo has open living space with ample daylight and well-lit interior spaces. A variation in living types and units, as well as price points, creates a unique townhome lifestyle in a multi-story condo for individuals and families of all types to enjoy.4 A rooftop and outdoor amenity space offers a private respite for tenants. Overall, with retail potential and proximity to other shops and restaurants, The Afton also provides a unique live-work environment for our downtown community, and the mixed-use application is already appealing to the arts community, with two galleries slated to be among the initial tenants.

Regionally-sourced, durable, and maintenance-free materials were selected to ensure cost-effectiveness and ease of facility upkeep,9 while two stories of post-tension concrete under four stories of wood make this project’s construction interestingly atypical. The highly accessible mid-rise facility is six stories tall, which makes better use of finite real estate. From design to implementation and execution, The Afton supports the growth and livability of Boise that makes it not only an example of excellence in architecture and landscape architecture, but also an example that will continue to positively influence and promote the growth of our community.

PHASE 1 CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS

LETTER OF SUPPORT

June 2, 2017

To Whom It May Concern:

The Afton Condominiums are one of Boise’s newest developments offering true urban living within Boise’s downtown core. This six-story development boasts a mixture of uses that includes: ground floor retail, live-work units, single-family condominiums, and a private parking garage that has been integrated into the building. The Afton Condominiums takes advantage of a compact building design that offers a range of housing choices nestled within an existing neighborhood that offers dining, arts, entertainment, and recreation. The building directly interfaces with 8th Street and River Street, and creates an inviting and pedestrian-friendly environment that includes street trees, street lights, and bicycle racks. These elements also provide the ability for individuals to choose any mode of transportation they would like.

While the surrounding area offers rich and vibrant opportunities, the building amenities also include: a clubhouse including a lounge, indoor/outdoor sitting area, boardroom, dining room, prep kitchen, and bathroom. It also includes a covered BBQ deck with farm table-style seating, a large rooftop garden that includes an outdoor fireplace, outdoor seating, and a 1,500 sq. ft. lawn and pet-walking area. These residential units truly provide all the modern-day luxuries and conveniences a downtown condominium project should have. They have a refreshing design focusing on revitalizing an existing neighborhood in the downtown area, and provide downtown living that is both moderately-priced and well-designed.

Overall, this development creates a strong sense of place that builds upon the framework currently existing within Boise’s downtown core, and embraces the elements of smart growth. And it is for these reasons the City of Boise is honored to recommend this project to be recognized by the 2017 Idaho Smart Growth Awards.

Sincerely,
City of Boise Planning and Development Services

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