After years of lobbying the company to open a store here, Treasure Valley shoppers will walk into the states first Trader Joes at 8 a.m. Friday.
But first, theyll have to find parking.
The new Trader Joes on the corner of Front Street and South Capitol Boulevard in Boise shares a parking lot with the newly constructed Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panda Express restaurants. That lot has 80 spaces, almost 200 fewer than the nearby Whole Foods Market/Walgreens center.
Trader Joes will have 12 fewer spaces in the parking lot than the Boise Co-op has.
We are urging anyone who wants to join the excitement to please use the parking garages surrounding Trader Joes, real estate developer the Hawkins Companies said in a news release.
The Trader Joes parking lot will be closed until 7 a.m. Friday.
The public parking garages nearby will provide one hour of free parking, as usual. For the stores debut, shoppers can pick up a $1 coupon for additional time, the developer said.
On-duty police officers will be stationed near the store directing traffic all weekend, according to Scott Dudek, a Trader Joes captain who moved from Seattle to manage the Boise store.
We will have crew members in the parking lot doing carry-outs to keep things moving smoothly, he said.
Parking tends to be a problem around Trader Joes stores, at least according to news coverage of grand openings in other cities.
The Miami Herald said a sharp influx of traffic around a new store in Pinecrest, Fla., last year led to a mega tow-a-thon as customers parked in neighboring businesses lots.
The same thing happened in Denver when a Trader Joes opened there with about 90 parking spaces earlier this month, and traffic irked residents nearby, according to some Denver TV stations.
In Boises case, the sites developer actually outdid the requirements for parking. Zoning for the property does not require a retailer to have on-site parking, because on-street and garage parking in the area is expected to accommodate customers, according to Boise Planning and Development Services.
Boise parking enforcement will be patrolling.
Were looking at that area, said Craig Croner, city of Boise administrative services manager. Where (the store is) currently located, that was a parking lot, so ... that has had an impact on parking Downtown.
Nearby blocks already have parking congestion, he said. Buildings such as the Concordia University School of Law, St. Lukes Regional Medical Center and the Family Advocacy Center and Education Services building bring in lots of cars.
There should be adequate space for the amount of folks that are shopping in that area, provided we dont have other people utilizing (the Trader Joes lot), clogging up stalls, Croner said.
Yes, he said, even those 80 precious spots could be snagged by parkers with no plans to shop. If the on-street parking gets too crazy, its possible the city could put up parking meters to replace the unmetered zones there now, he said.
Audrey Dutton: 377-6448, Twitter: @IDS_Audrey