Developers eye lot near Boise Public Library

Proposals for a space on 9th and River in Boise include apartments, student housing and a hotel.

sberg@idahostatesman.comFebruary 5, 2014 

Boise has a good problem on its hands, says the head of its urban renewal agency: six strong proposals for one piece of property the agency owns just northwest of the Boise Public Library.

“I wish we had six parcels, because they’re all unique from one another,” said John Brunelle, executive director of Capital City Development Corp. “But six very strong players. So we have an interesting challenge ahead of us.”

There are plenty of big names in the six competing proposals. Bill Clark, who built a controversial condominium complex along Crescent Rim, and iconic Boise architecture firm CSHQA are teaming up on one. The Gardner Co., which is remaking Downtown Boise around 8th and Main, has another. Then there’s Olson Kundig, a famous Seattle-based firm that proposed apartments.

Most of the proposals include some commercial space, such as small, ground-floor shops and restaurants. Several include community space such as urban gardens.

The warehouse on 9th and River streets was originally a food-distribution center. Boise’s renewal agency bought the property in 2001, hoping to promote development along the Capitol Boulevard corridor between Front Street and the Boise River.

In the next few weeks, Brunelle said, agency staff will present all six proposals to the executive committee of CCDC’s board of commissioners. The four-person panel will recommend one to the full eight-person board, which will pick a winner from the proposals or deny all of them and restart the process.

That would probably happen at a board meeting in February or March, Brunelle said.

If a winner is picked, the agency will begin ironing out details, such as construction schedule, refining the concept, analysis of the developer’s financing and how much money, if any, is paid for the lot.

Brunelle said he hopes the developer breaks ground this year.

Sven Berg: 377-6275

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