I wonder what that sign is for in front of the building on the corner of 5th and Main streets? It looks like an old gas station sign that starts with a “V.”
Marc is referring to the Veltex Building – a four-story commercial and condo development located in Old Boise. Without the context of history, it may seem a little odd – a modern brick building with a classic orange and blue neon sign planted out front.
The building sprang up in 2004, and now houses a Sterling Savings Bank branch, but for decades the corner gave downtown motorists a place to fuel up their vehicles – selling gas under the Veltex brand. The gas station closed in 1991, and the old building began to show its age. But the vivid neon sign – painted in Bronco Nation’s favorite colors – became a downtown landmark.
Boise’s Clark Development recognized that the Veltex site – right in the heart of downtown – was prime for development. But instead of putting up another generic building, they decided to embrace the Veltex heritage.
The building kept the gas station’s name, and houses a display of Veltex memorabilia. Light fixtures were added with the famous “V,” and of course the original sign was restored and put back up.
The developer signed a long-term lease with Fletcher Oil, which allows them to use the sign and name.
And the Veltex brand isn’t completely gone from area roads. A Ketchum convenience store owned by Fletcher went back to the classic name a few years ago – under the Veltex Market brand, with the orange and blue sign burning brightly in the Wood River Valley as well.
Next week: Why does Boise have a major canal named for New York?