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Student apartments planned for old Bannock hospital site

elevate at pocatello
Nelson Partners is building student apartments on the vacant lot on Memorial Drive in Pocatello.

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Developers are planning to build student apartments on the former Bannock Regional Medical Center lot.

The 4-acre lot has been empty for years. It sits on 651 Memorial Drive across from Idaho State University.

On Dec. 30, Nelson Partners, a student housing developer in California, bought the lot from Portneuf Health Trust.

“We’ve developed quite a few projects like this, and we think we know what the students like and what attracts them and what keeps them together,” said Bob Perdue, the vice president of development for Nelson Partners.

Both Portneuf Health Trust and Nelson Partners declined to comment on the sale price of the lot.

"This will put $25 million back on the tax rolls," said commercial real estate broker Don Zebe, who facilitated the sale.

The previous owner, Portneuf Health Trust, is not a taxable entity, according to Zebe. Now with Nelson Partners, a privately owned company, at the helm, Bannock County will be able to collect property taxes on the site.

Nelson Partners has 25 student apartment buildings in 11 states. The latest edition will be their first investment in Idaho.

“We look for universities that are poised for growth. Idaho State appeared to be kind of a gem,” Perdue said.

The apartments will be named 'Elevate @ Pocatello' and will have 177 units with options for studio, one, two, and four-bedroom apartments. Perdue expects to have 540 beds for ISU students. Nelson Partners is not releasing the pricing index for the apartments until the leasing period gets closer.

The apartments will be split into two buildings (a five-story and a six-story) that will be horseshoe-shaped. A full gym, study halls, a lounge and a deck on the 5th floor to overlook campus will be available to tenants.

“It’s also going to help in attracting top quality students even more so. Because other universities, like University of Utah, Montana State, have all got class A student housing--Boise State does. It just gives the university the opportunity to compete with them on a different level,” Zebe said.

Parking, as many students know, is limited near ISU's campus. The sale of the property included 200 dedicated parking spaces for tenants in the garage adjacent to the lot. Elevate @ Pocatello will also have 50 uncovered parking spaces on site.

Method Studios based out of Salt Lake City is designing the building, Perdue said.

“The site’s new, the shape of the site is new to us and all the drawings are unique to this project,” Perdue said.

Nelson Partners Construction Management will oversee the construction of the buildings. They plan to break ground in March or April 2020 in order to finish construction in time for the fall 2021 semester.

“A great location, a great environment for students. That’s kind of what we look for. We look for those underutilized areas and underutilized universities that could really use a Class A student housing project,” Perdue said.

A leasing office will be set up at the start of 2021 to begin renting apartments.

“The city has been fantastic to work with. Coming from southern California where it is very difficult to get anything done, it is so refreshing to come to a community and city offices, planning department, that have been so willing to work with us," Perdue said.

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Emma Iannacone

Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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