Approval from Boises Design Review Committee this week means that Boise developer Hawkins Companies may pursue a permit for its development across the street from The Grove Hotel and BoDo.
One of the buildings, a 2,500-square-foot structure with a drive-thru, requires a Boise Planning and Zoning Commission hearing for a conditional use permit.
Hawkins hopes to break ground on the project sometime next spring and have the buildings complete and occupied by the end of 2013, leasing manager Bryan Vaughn said.
What Vaughn wouldnt say is which businesses will occupy the buildings. For the past two weeks, rumors have swirled that Hawkins is building the main store its 13,000-square-foot floor plan suggests grocery store-style features such as a beverage cooler, receiving area and pallet storage for specialty grocer Trader Joes.
Boise Weekly reported on the speculation earlier this month. Last week, a spokeswoman for Trader Joes said there was no truth to the rumors. She said flatly that the company has no plans to open a store in Boise.
This week, the same spokeswoman said she couldnt confirm interest in Boise. She wouldnt comment on the fact that Trader Joes registered with the Secretary of States Office in September to do business in Idaho.
Trader Joes is a popular speciality chain headquartered in California that sells mostly its own brands, including its Two Buck Chuck wine. The store has long been on many Boise shoppers wish lists.
City officials say they dont know who the tenants will be.
As major commercial building goes, the Capitol Boulevard-Front Street project has generated little resistance. Most people who spoke at Wednesdays design review hearing supported Hawkins plan.
Sven Berg: 377-6275