A sneak peek at the newly renovated Owyhee

BOISE -- After being closed for more than a year, one of the most historic buildings in downtown Boise is set to open with a whole new renovated look.

What was the Owyhee Hotel, built around 1910, will re-open next week as the Owyhee, a place to live, work, eat, and meet.

The new look and feel of the Owyhee is thanks to the hard work and vision of a lot of people, but a big chunk of it is thanks to part-owner and developer Mike Brown, Co-President of LocalConstruct.

I bet there were a quarter-million decisions that went into getting this building ready. Brown says the new Owyhee is a mix of the old and the new, We tried to give elements of the building a modern contemporary touch, but we tried to pay homage to the past, also.

That's evident in elements like; a historic fireplace they found hidden inside a wall, original 1910 tile, the original mail shoot, and storefronts restored from historic photographs. From the apartments to the ballroom to the commercial space to the penthouse that will host events, the classic touches are apparent.

These old buildings, they kind of speak to you, says Brown. But, some of the most important new touches are things you may not see.

We've completely modernized all the systems, said Brown. There is fiber optic in here. There's screaming fast WiFi in here. There's modern audio visual in here. There's modern heating and air conditioning in here.

It's a lot of work for 14 months, said Clay Carley, the local part-owner.

He says that some of the key features for the community are the apartments, which add what he calls much needed living space to downtown.

Rooftops is what we need, and this was a perfect place to test it out. As a hotel, it wasn't successful any longer. So, what do you do with those spaces? It was already setup to live in, you just had to set it up to live in longer. Brown says, Part of Boise becoming an urban place, is buildings like the Owyhee becoming urban too.

There is still plenty of finishing work to be done, but Brown and Carley say they will be ready for the ribbon cutting on July 8 and the grand opening to the public on the July 9.


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