advocacy alert: art deco travis apartments in boise threatened
The owners of the Travis Apartment (1620 W. Bannock St.) want to demolish this historic Art Deco building for a new commercial/high-end apartment/personal residence. 80-years of history will go to the landfill.
Boise is growing and that is OK but we need to protect our dwindling inventory of significant historic buildings. Not all historic buildings need to be saved but this one does! This beautiful building contains excellent examples of bygone craftsmanship and design detail.
Not only is the building itself important to the history and continued architectural diversity of Boise but it is a true example of affordable housing. The one-bedroom apartments rent for around $800/month. They allow Boiseans to live and work downtown at a price point that NO buildings built in recent years have done. If the Travis Apartments are replaced by new "high-end" apartments, as the owner has stated, Boise goes further away from retaining its "Most Livable City" status when it comes to protecting affordable housing.
Losing affordable housing and sending a structurally sound building to the landfill go against important sections of Blueprint Boise, the city's comprehensive plan. This is a big parcel. Units could be built on part of the 80% of the lot the owner says is not covered by these apartments. We can achieve higher density WITHOUT losing the Travis Apartments. These apartments are located in the boundaries of the West Downtown Neighborhood Association but have no historic protection. A demolition permit could be pulled at any time. There are many empty lots nearby that could accommodate a new build like the one proposed.
Blueprint Boise states:
"One of the most effective means of achieving a more compact growth pattern is to identify opportunities to accommodate future growth within the city’s existing “footprint,” either on vacant sites or through the redevelopment of obsolete buildings or uses. In Boise, these opportunities will be concentrated in the Downtown, along existing and future transit corridors, and within designated activity centers; however, small-scale residential and mixed-use infill projects will continue to occurwith appropriate protections for historic neighborhoods."
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Boise Planning & Zoning will hear this application on May 6th. The owners are asking to have the property rezoned from C-2 (General Commercial) to R-O (Residential Office). If granted, the next step is DEMOLITION to allow for the new build to take place on the lot.
Emails must be received by 5 PM on Thursday, May 2nd to be included in the hearing packet.
Preservation Idaho urges you to send an email to the Boise Planning Division. You can cut and paste or change any part of the text below to reflect your personal feelings and goals.
You can state: "I oppose rezoning request, CAR19-00005/Travis Apartments. Allowing the rezoning of this parcel will assure the demolition of the historic Travis Apartments. The city will lose affordable housing units and will negatively impact the landfill. Avoidance of both of these impacts are clearly stated in the Blueprint Boise and have been echoed as goals by Boise city government. Additional units could be built on this lot without demolishing the Travis Apartments. Please deny the application."
Send your comments to Brent Moore at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read more about the history of the building below, see the online application, and see the email Preservation Idaho sent to City Council back in February when we first learned of the owner's intention to demolish the Travis Apartments.