|The development team's artistic rendering of a restored Hotel Bonneville.|
In February, the agency issued a Request for Proposal to developers for renovation plans for the structure. Three proposals were received. After eliciting input on the proposals, a public meeting was held Aug. 18, where applicants were invited to make presentations regarding their approaches.
The proposals and public comment were reviewed, and the agency selected the development team during a meeting Aug. 25.
“This was a very difficult decision, as we had to decide between excellent proposals,” said Lee Redford, the Redevelopment Agency’s chairman. “The proposals were submitted by experienced and creative groups. After extensive consideration, we chose to proceed with the proposal presented by The Housing Company. We appreciate the contributions of these developers and their commitment to improving downtown Idaho Falls, and we look forward to the successful completion of this important project.”
The project will be a mixed-use development with commercial, retail, restaurant and residential spaces. The residential spaces will include studio, and one- and two-bedroom units. The estimated project cost is $10 million. Approximately $440,000 will be funded by the agency while the majority of the funding will be provided by housing and historic preservation tax credits.
A copy of the development team's plan can be found here: Bonneville Hotel Proposal.
The agency has held all along that the facades and features of the building, which was completed in 1927, be renewed or restored. Much of the historic interior detail has been removed throughout the years, and the development team plans to remove most of what is inside. “Our proposed scope of work would include a full demolition of the interior space improvements,” said the document that was presented to the Redevelopment Agency. This includes the removal of all existing plumbing and delivery lines and soil lines, down to the basement and from the basement to the street’s main discharge line. All electrical wiring and fixtures will be removed and discarded except for any fixtures with historical value, which will be sent out for repair and rewiring.
The team said that in conversations with people interested in leasing or buying commercial and retail space two issues came up. One was space for food storage, for a small grocery store or restaurant. The other was all the old mattresses, engine blocks and building elements discarded in the first floor space where the restaurant used to be, and the holes in the walls were pipes were patched, electrical lines recently routed. The dishevelment “only intensifies the difficulty potential owners have in seeing what could be.”
THC was responsible for the restoration of the Whitman Hotel in Pocatello. The company also manages more than 1,500 units, currently assessed at over $48 million.
The proposed plan also includes a roof deck at the second level that will be accessible to both commercial and residential occupants. The deck will include landscaping and exterior amenities for dining, events and relaxation.
"The Housing Company, Myers Anderson Architects and Bateman-Hall Contractors are proud to have been selected by the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency for the renovation of the iconic Bonneville Hotel,” said Douglas Peterson, director of The Housing Company. “We look forward to working with the Agency in finalizing a plan that will benefit the community for many years to come,"
The development team will meet individually with the current tenants in good standing to find reasonable and comparable housing in the area. Construction is scheduled to begin in November 2017.