Credit: Boise Arts & History

Athlos Academies buys Macy’s building in downtown Boise



The vacant Macy’s building in downtown Boise has sold to Athlos Academies, a Boise-based education service provider for charter schools.

The sale for an undisclosed amount closed on Aug. 31 to NOB-8 LLC, a related entity to Athlos, said Athlos President David Jeppson. Athlos will be the building’s tenant.

Athlos provides research-based curricula to charter schools. It also builds the schools, and trains teachers and staff. Athlos has its office at BoDo, and intends to establish a charter school teacher training facility in the Macy’s building.
Macy’s closed the 115,721-square-foot, five-story department store in 2010 and Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp. became the majority owner in 2011 intending to transform it into 64 units of workforce housing.

“We are disappointed we were not able to make it work with downtown workforce housing,” said Julie Marple, Northwest’s vice president of development. “The financing feasibility did not work in today’s market.”

Several other condo and affordable housing deals have been in the works for the Macy’s building in the past four years, but they all fell through until now, said Clay Anderson, a broker at Colliers International who handled this sale as well as the prior sale to Northwest Real Estate.

“We had it under contract a few times to apartment redevelopers,” Anderson said. “It was just a little too boxy. You had limitations. Another party wanted to do executive suites and retail on the ground floor. The cost was too much risk.”
The Ada County Assessor assesses the building at 918 W. Idaho St. at $1.4677 million. The assessed value was as high as $2.8 million in 2008 when Macy’s was still in operation and just before property values plummeted in the economic crisis.

Anderson said selling the Macy’s building was an uphill slog.

“Each party that had it under contract, they had a use in mind but they did not have a user in mind,” Anderson said. “(This time) with a user in tow, that made perfect sense. It had a real good feel to it.”

Interior demolition work has been going on in the building since March. The building, which fills the block of Idaho Street between Ninthth and 10th streets, was built in 1928 as C.C. Anderson Golden Rule department store. Many still refer to it as the C.C. Anderson building though the store became a Bon Marché in 1962 and then a Macy’s in 2004.