Apartments, commercial space planned for Idaho Inn property

The Idaho Inn off Pullman Road in Moscow was recently sold to Fortify Holdings, LLC. According to the new ownership, the Idaho Inn hotel rooms will be converted into studio apartments and rebranded as The Empire with a goal of beginning leasing units by the end of 2021 or start of 2022.

The Idaho Inn in Moscow will be converted into studio apartments and commercial space, said Robert Jacobs, regional manager for Fortify Holdings LLC of Beaverton, Ore.

Jacobs said Fortify Holdings purchased the three-story building this summer. The property is at 645 W. Pullman Road across the street from MOD Pizza.

“We are excited to be converting the Idaho Inn into a vibrant mixed-use residential community rebranded as The Empire,” according to a statement from Fortify Holdings. “The hotel rooms are being transformed into hip, upscale studio apartments featuring new finishes throughout the interior and exterior of the buildings. The large scale of this property will allow us to incorporate enhanced outdoor common spaces for residents to congregate and enjoy.”

Jacobs said each of the roughly 90 hotel rooms on the west side of the building will be converted to a studio apartment while the lobby and east side of the vacant building will be commercial space.

Shelley Bennett, commercial broker for Kiemle Hagood in Moscow, is working to secure commercial tenants for the building. She said she has prospects but no business has officially agreed to occupy the space.

“The setting is ideal for professionals working downtown and U of I students,” Fortify Holdings’ statement said. “The current strain on the housing market in the greater Moscow area highlights the importance of expanding the current inventory available for rental units. We look forward to working with the City of Moscow and the community in general to bring this exciting new community to life.”

The statement said units should be available to begin leasing late this year or early in 2022.

Fortify Holdings’ website says it refurbishes old properties and builds new communities from the ground up across the Pacific Northwest.

Idaho Inn was built in 1978 as a Travel Lodge, according to a Moscow Board of Adjustment meeting document last year. The inn has operated as both a hotel and for extended-stay housing.

It was used as graduate student housing by the University of Idaho in or around 1995. It was purchased by Idaho Hospitality in 2010 and has been operating as a hotel offering extended stays on the second and third floors, the city document said.

Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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