JUMP ahead: A look at Simplot Co.’s new Boise digs

The 9-story headquarters and urban meeting area will change Downtown Boise

cmsewell@idahostatesman.comAugust 2, 2013 

A 7.5-acre site between Front, Myrtle, 9th and 11th streets is being transformed into a Simplot complex that serves to honor patriarch J.R. Simplot and house the company’s headquarters.

Simplot, who revolutionized potato processing, died in 2008.

Plans filed this week for the new headquarters show stacked boxes forming an L-shaped building at Front and 11th streets.

The Simplot Co. filed what it called “preliminary” plans and renderings — the first look at how the entire property is envisioned when all elements are completed in 2016 — for approval by the city’s Design Review Committee, which will hold a public hearing on the plans Aug. 14.

The new building will consolidate about 1,000 Simplot employees from the One Capital Center building at 999 Main St., which has been the Simplot headquarters since 1975, and its Food Group building on Federal Way, built in 1992.

Bringing its Boise employees together “will strengthen our culture of innovation ... in a more collaborative work space,” Simplot President and CEO Bill Whitacre said in a news release.

The company’s building will be a companion to JUMP — Jack’s Urban Meeting Place — a project in J.R.’s memory being built by the Simplot Foundation to include a museum, park areas, public art, and performance and meeting spaces. Boiseans have been watching JUMP take shape in recent months at the base of the Connector.

OFFICE BUILDING

What: Simplot Co. headquarters. The main office building will be on Front Street between 10th and 11th streets. A separate annex on Front between 9th and 10th will connect to the main building via pedestrian bridges. The building is slated for company use only; no retail or commercial uses are planned. And the bridge will be for company use only.

Size: Nine stories, 334,000 square feet.

Cost: A spokesman said that’s not being released.

Owner: Simplot Co.

Architect: Adamson Associates, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

What's next: The Boise Design Review Committee will hold a hearing at 6 p.m. on Aug. 14 on the third floor of City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd. Construction could start in 2014 and will take about two years.

JACK'S URBAN MEETING PLACE

What: A memorial to the late Simplot family patriarch and agricultural giant, who lived to be 99, will include an event venue, a museum, an outdoor park, multistory slides, and five studios for arts and crafts classes. J.R. Simplot’s collection of antique tractors and steam engines — some weighing more than 12 tons — will be displayed throughout the site on outdoor terraces, parking decks, the sculpture garden and in a park.

Size: Six stories, 65,000 square feet.

Cost: $70 million.

Owner: Simplot family foundation.

Architect: Adamson Associates.

What's next: The JUMP project is fully permitted and under construction, and it is slated to open in 2015.

Parking: A 185,000-square-foot underground parking facility that’s under construction is primarily for Simplot employees. It will be available for public use at nights and on weekends. A 100-space garage above ground is for JUMP participants.

Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell

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