Bonneville Hotel renovation on track for Fall
IDAHO FALLS — Despite some funding hiccups the historic Bonneville Hotel renovation is still moving forward.
In 2016, plans to renovate the iconic Bonneville Hotel into a hub for housing and business while keeping the historic value of the hotel intact were launched. Since then the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency has worked to procure funding for the project.
During a meeting in January, the agency revealed they had been denied a $600,000 loan from a low-income housing program. All other funding for the project has been awarded or is on track to be awarded, but without that $600,000, the agency would be hardpressed to be able to continue the project.
Idaho Falls Community Development Services Director Brad Cramer said The Housing Company, a non-profit organization that promotes affordable housing, said they will contribute $300,000 to cover half of that funding gap. There was some discussion during the January meeting of the agency contributing the other $300,000.
In total, the project is estimated to cost between $10 to $11 million with funding from a variety of sources.
“The bulk of that financing is coming from low-income housing tax credits — those have been awarded,” Cramer explained. “Probably the second largest portion is through the historic preservation tax credits.”
During the January meeting, the agency reported they needed to refine their renovation plan to qualify for the historic preservation tax credits.
“It will be a complete renovation of the building,” Cramer told EastIdahoNews.com. “A renovation that’s sensitive to the historic integrity to the building.”
Cramer said the historic preservation tax credits require that the integral parts of the building are preserved.
“The upper floors will be residential– Fewer units than there are in there today — I think right now there’s 60 plus units and there will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 35. ” Cramer said. “There will be a few units on the main level as well. Then the remaining part of the main level will be commercial and office space.”
Cramer said The Housing Company is in charge of what to do with those already living in the Bonneville. However, Idaho Falls spokesperson Kerry Hammon said part of the contract is to help the current residents relocate.
Despite the issues with procuring funding, Cramer said he is confident construction on the project will begin in September.