Owners of Slice Pizzeria and Taphouse are planning around $1.4 million in renovations that will add two stories of commercial and residential space on top of two buildings located on the corner of Washington and Second streets in Moscow.
Owner Matt Becker said he and his wife and co-owner, Rebekah Becker, always planned to improve the properties but the project was moved from the backburner after statewide closures related to COVID-19 began to bite.
“All my employees weren’t going to make enough money because everything was shutting down,” Matt Becker said. “Tips are important, there wasn’t going to be any business, their hours would have gotten cut and the unemployment the government was offering was more money than they make, so I thought the best thing for them was to shut down.”
Becker said plans include another commercial space and a luxury apartment on top of a neighboring restaurant, at 115 E. Second St., which is also owned by the Beckers and was the former Hoof and Trotter restaurant. A courtyard seating area between the two buildings features a set of new stairs leading to the roof of the structure which will eventually feature doubled garage doors facing out onto a 900-square-foot rooftop patio. Above that, Becker plans to install a three-bedroom, luxury condominium with it’s own north-facing balcony and rooftop patio.
Slice’s existing taproom is currently roofless in preparation for it’s own two story addition, which will feature 16 smaller apartments that Becker said he plans to rent out for around $795 a month. Even these smaller units will feature high-end appliances and custom granite countertops, Becker said. He said it is his hope to power the entire complex through a solar array on the roof.
“Whether (the solar array) pays for itself or not, I don’t know — I think it’ll pay for itself in increased rent because I think people will like that,” he said. “It’ll almost be like a big, tiny house in an apartment in downtown, off-grid and I think that is a unique product that is attractive to a small amount of people in our town.”
Becker said so far, there have been few regulatory barriers to the renovations. Because the properties are in Moscow’s central business district, he said he’s allowed to build lot-line to lot-line and as high as 70 feet, though these renovations will only rise to about 46 feet once complete. He said he hopes to have the majority of the exterior work completed by October so that crews can work on interior detail work through the winter.
Becker estimated the project will cost between $1.2 million and $1.4 million. He said he’s paying for the project by liquidating some of the residential properties he owns in Moscow a little at a time.
“I’m paying for it as I go, so I’m gonna sell a few properties and then take the cash from it and build and just keep moving,” Becker said. “I have two properties closing next month at the end of the month and that will get me maybe $200,000. That’ll get me pretty close to dried-in.”
Scott Jackson can be reached at (208) 883-4636, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.