With the 159-unit Fowler and 37-unit Water Cooler projects, Los Angeles–based developers Local Construct are expanding their horizons by building for a growing niche of budget-conscious transplants seeking classically urban qualities like walkability and affordable density in Boise, Idaho.

Casey Lynch, cofounder of Local Construct, explained that Boise is “more progressive in terms of land-use and transportation planning” than larger municipalities, which allowed the developer to implement and expand on its existing suite of best practices.

The firm’s seven-story Fowler, designed by Holst Architecture, is a subtly zigzagging complex that includes 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and five ground floor live-work units that allow residents to “live above the shop.” The iron-washed brick and troweled-stucco block features gridded facades made up of punched openings that overlook the street and a central courtyard.

Local Construct also partnered with package-handling start-up Parcel Pending to create a package room outfitted with refrigerated lockers that alert residents when their packages arrive.

The developer, with The Architects Office (TAO) and Beebe Skidmore, is simultaneously working on the three-story Water Cooler apartments, which features protruding plywood-clad sections interrupted by white stucco massing. The wood-siding-clad bump-outs overhang the ground level storefront spaces, providing shelter above the building’s entrances. The building will contain seven live-work units along the ground floor, and 900 square feet of retail.

Both complexes are far into the construction process and are expected to open to tenants later this year.

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