Work at Jacks Urban Meeting Place causes dust to fly.
The 8th and Main project is noisy sometimes.
Construction at the Whole Foods Market-Walgreens complex has limited the access to a nearby store.
Besides the inconvenience, the work itself stands in marked contrast to the aesthetic of the tidy, trendy shops and restaurants that neighbor the projects.
Yes, its a nuisance, but the people who work in nearby shops and restaurants look past the dust and noise of today to the promise of a shiny new neighbor that can bring more customers.
Im going to use it to grow business, said Jason Hall, manager of Bonefish Grill on Broad Street. I think that the potential is, I mean, limitless.
Just west of Bonefish lies the construction site for Jacks Urban Meeting Place. Crews are in the process of building an underground parking garage on the site. The Simplot family, in recognition of the late J.R. Jack Simplot, plans to build the $70 million JUMP on top of the garage, offering an event venue, park and space for the public to learn arts and crafts.
Dust from the JUMP site has settled on Bonefishs outdoor tables, workers at the restaurant said. But the construction crews do their best to keep dust to a minimum.
Even at its worst, the dust cant compare to the benefit of a completed JUMP, Hall said.
In the end, itll be a huge deal for this Downtown area and business, he said.
HAPPY TO SEE THE HOLE FILLED
A few blocks away, work at 8th and Main on the site of the abandoned Boise Tower project is having a similar effect. Customers and employees of neighboring stores are quick to downplay the short-term inconvenience.
Theyre more excited than curious that theres not going to be a big hole, said Ashley Gowing, assistant manager of the womens clothing store Title Nine, across 8th Street from the construction zone.
Nine of 11 parking spots on 8th Street between Main and Idaho streets are temporarily gone. On occasion, roads around the project have been closed to accommodate construction.
Builders have avoided disputes with neighboring businesses, in part, due to good communication. Amanda Fay, a stylist at Fete Style Bar, said representatives of the project regularly visit the salon with updates and notices of upcoming operations.
Fork Restaurant manager Shaurie Beardshear said crews have been very, extremely accommodating to the point of delaying the loudest work when the restaurant is hosting groups for special occasions.
If they have a jackhammer out there, then itll vibrate this entire space, Beardshear said.
Establishing a good relationship early with 8th and Mains neighbors is in the long-term interest of the Gardner Co., which owns the project and will rub shoulders with businesses surrounding the 18-floor office and retail building long after its 2014 completion date, Chief Operating Officer Tommy Ahlquist said.
Its a bit of a mixed bag, because its a really good thing for them and the Downtown district, but its an inconvenience for a significant period of time, Ahlquist said.
A NEW LANDMARK
The same applies to Whole Foods, which is building a store west of Broadway Avenue between Myrtle and Front streets. The natural-food store is set to open later this year.
Being a member of that community, we want to make sure were being as responsible as possible, said Ron Megahan, vice president of design and development for Whole Foods Rocky Mountain region.
That attitude may help explain why Sandy Rust, manager of the nearby Georges Cycles and Fitness, welcomes the Whole Foods-Walgreens complex, despite having access to parking east of Georges temporarily restricted.
In addition to a boost in exposure, Rust said, the complex gives her and other employees one more landmark to help customers find their bike shop.
Were excited, because now we can say were between WinCo and Whole Foods, she said.
Sven Berg: 377-6275