Rafanelli & Nahas
What sets apart real estate development firm Rafanelli & Nahas? They create incredible buildings and manage them for the long haul. While many companies develop land then move on, this firm owns its properties and provides long-term management and maintenance. In the words of partner Scott Schoenherr, “We spoil our tenants, and our buildings stay full.” This unique outlook has allowed Rafanelli & Nahas to develop over one million square feet of landmark properties in the treasure valley.
11th & Idaho
One such landmark property is their new building on 11th St. and Idaho in Boise. This exciting addition to their holdings is a ten-story office building with a rooftop deck. Designed by award-winning firm Perkins + Will, the 11th St. building boasts a 5,000 square foot lobby. It also includes floor to ceiling glass walls throughout each floor. However, the building is not just beautiful; it is also exceptionally well made. This Class A+ building not only provides excellent panoramic views of the city and landscape, but achieves LEED Gold certification.
Achieving LEED certification for any project takes a great deal of time, money, and dedication to sustainable building practices. A couple of significant ways the 11th St. building achieved LEED includes its energy-efficient windows and neolith stone cladding made of 100% natural materials. They offer superior resistance to UV rays and form the stunning black exterior of the building.
The Rooftop Deck
Yet, the 11th St. building’s exceptional quality is just one aspect of what makes it so special in Boise. As Schoenherr says, “When you own your stuff forever, you treat it a little more like you treat your house and less like you treat an investment. We’re a big believer that what makes an office building really special isn’t any one thing or two things; it’s a thousand thing. Having an architecturally significant building is important to us, and we think it’s important to tenants too.”
Yet, the building’s exceptional quality is just one aspect of what makes it so special in Boise. As Schoenherr says, “When you own your stuff forever, you treat it a little more like you treat your house and less like you treat an investment. We’re a big believer that what makes an office building really special isn’t any one thing or two things; it’s a thousand things. Having an architecturally significant building is important to us, and we think it’s important to our tenants too.”
One such notable aspect is the rooftop deck. At the beginning of the project, Perkins & Will encouraged the firm to include a rooftop deck. To cut costs, Rafanelli & Nahas declined. However, after touring LinkedIn’s headquarters in San Francisco, they learned just how vital a rooftop deck could be. LinkedIn’s HR Manager changed their minds by sharing, “When I’m interviewing someone that I really want to hire, this [the rooftop deck] is where I do it. This [experience] is what the young people want now.” Today the 11th St. building boasts a beautiful space with IPE wood decking that no other Class A office building in Boise has.
“Having an architecturally significant building is important to us.”
Making Space For A Park
With such attention paid to creating a beautiful building for their tenants, one would think Rafanelli & Nahas would stop there. On the contrary, the firm’s long-term vision has driven it to beautifully shape Boise’s culture. Working hand-in-hand with CCDC and the City of Boise, the firm will be subleasing space adjacent to the building for an incredible new public park.
What is currently being referred to as the Westside Urban Park will have a variety of coveted amenities. With a shift toward residential infill, having a public space within walking distance of new residences is important for the city. Artist, Matthew Mazzotta was hired by the City of Boise Arts and History to determine and create what the public prioritized in a new park. The response was in overwhelming support of a public art feature, flexible event space, and great food and dining.
The final design incorporates all these things with a large, green lawn and amphitheater, plenty of hardscapes for outdoor dining, a food truck and farmer’s market accessible parking lot, and a beautiful art feature. Seeking to reflect a cherry tree in bloom, Mazzotta’s featured piece “Gentle Breeze”, is a large, pink, tree-like sculpture set upon a small berm. The playful, attention grabbing color makes it a beautiful focal point for this new public space.
Stewardship For Boise
Through its quality construction, exceptional management, and community focus, it is no wonder Rafanelli & Nahas have been so successful in Boise. But at the heart of the firm is a deep-rooted love and even stewardship for Boise and its culture. It is not often that you encounter a developer that takes on the responsibility to up the game on architecture in a city. While many firms are willing to forfeit quality to get something built, Rafanelli & Nahas is fighting against that. They hope that design review, CCDC, and planning and zoning will look to buildings like theirs and ask, “Why would we allow anything less to be built in our downtown?”
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