Here's a fast way to scan Idaho’s top business news from mid-February to mid-March for whatever you have missed. Told in 14 briefs and three photos.
Stadium proposed near Boise Greenbelt
The stadium would be the new home for the Hawks, the Treasure Valley’s minor league baseball team, and potentially for a minor league soccer team. And there is some hope that Boise State University would use the field for new men’s baseball and women’s lacrosse teams.
The site is mostly a parking lot at the northeast corner of South Americana Boulevard and Shoreline Drive. St. Luke’s Health System maintains offices there in a former Kmart store.
1,800-home subdivision approved
Ada County commissioners approved an application submitted by Boise Hunter Homes to build more than 1,800 homes in the Foothills.
The three commissioners heard more than three hours of public testimony on the project, mostly in opposition. The Dry Creek Ranch Planned Community would be built on 1,411 acres between Hidden Springs and Idaho 55.
Boise Hunter Homes originally planned 3,500 homes there.
Micron soon to finish $200 million lab
Micron Technology Inc. expects to complete the first phase of its research-and-development expansion this summer.
Construction began in spring 2016. The company said in August 2015 that it would expand its R&D space 30 percent to accommodate Micron’s broader global base, including products from former Japanese chip maker Elpida Memory Inc.
Ranch Club closes but vows to reopen
The landmark bar in Garden City, known for the giant horse statue on its sign, has closed after more than 65 years.
The restaurant and lounge at Chinden Boulevard and Orchard Street was one of the last restaurants in the area to allow smoking.
Soon after closing, the Ranch Club’s sign marquee was updated to read: “Da horse back soon” and “Returning soon. Go Braves.”
Bodybuilding.com moves on from CEO
Bodybuilding.com CEO Richard Jalichandra stepped down after one year at the company’s Boise headquarters.
The company sent an email to employees announcing that Jalichandra “is departing the company to pursue other opportunities.”
Jalichandra had a history of turning around smaller startups before succeeding Bodybuilding.com founder Ryan DeLuca as CEO in January 2016. The company laid off at least 90 Boise employees in December.
Idaho farm, food firms support keeping NAFTA
Idaho farm, food firms support keeping NAFTA
Idaho farmers and food manufacturers say business will suffer if President Donald Trump follows through on campaign promises to renegotiate or repeal the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Mexico has become the leading importer of Idaho farm products since NAFTA took effect in 1994, especially for barley and dairy.
Gov. Butch Otter is among Idaho’s NAFTA critics, saying Canada and Mexico hurt Idaho businesses by flaunting trade rules because the agreement lacks teeth to enforce them.
Boise’s Inovus Solar sold
Massachusetts company SolarOne Solutions bought Inovus Solar, a Boise company that pioneered solar-powered light poles.
Solar inventor Seth Myer and Clay Young, co-founder of Boise software company ProClarity, founded Inovus in 2007. Myer left several years ago and Young left in 2015 when Doug Stewart was named CEO.
Stewart will be a board member and strategic adviser for SolarOne. The company’s nine Boise employees will shift to the SolarOne payroll.
Wage gap persists for Idaho women
Idaho women working full time in 2015 had median weekly earnings of $654, or 81.1 percent that of their male counterparts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was a 4.4 percent decrease from 2014’s 85.5 percent.
Idaho’s ratio now is on par with the national average. Women in the U.S. averaged $726 per week, 81.1 percent of the $895 median for men.
Developer Ahlquist joins governor race
Treasure Valley developer Tommy Ahlquist has joined a crowded Republican field in the 2018 Idaho governor’s race.
Ahlquist, 49, worked in emergency medicine for 18 years but now focuses on commercial development. In 2005, he became chief operating officer of Gardner Co., whose projects include the Eighth and Main building and City Center Plaza in Downtown Boise.
Ahlquist will run as a Republican against Lt. Gov. Brad Little and former State Sen. Russ Fulcher of Meridian. U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador might become a candidate. Gov. Butch Otter is not running for reelection.
Truckstop.com expanding in Boise
Truckstop.com is quickly building its staff in the Boise office that opened in January.
The Fruitland company matches truckers with freight needing transport. It already has about 45 workers in the Stevens-Henager College building off Overland Road overlooking I-84. CEO Paris Cole says Truckstop.com plans to hire around 60 more, mostly in sales and marketing.
The company opened the office in part because it struggled to recruit employees to its headquarters in New Plymouth in Payette County.
Electroshock therapy comes to Valley
James G. Saccomando Jr. and Richard Montgomery, doctors at North End Psychiatry in Boise, now offer electroconvulsive therapy in Caldwell at the Idaho Surgery Center, part of West Valley Medical Center.
Previously, patients have been sent to Salt Lake City, Portland or Seattle for the procedure. Sometimes called electroshock therapy, ECT uses electricity to bring on a seizure in a patient. After a series of several treatments in just a few weeks, patients with illnesses such as bipolar disorder and major depression show a significant improvement.
Trailhead North opens Downtown
Trailhead, the Downtown co-working space on the corner of 8th and Myrtle streets, opened Trailhead North in nearby BoDo.
Trailhead North offers walled-in offices and a private meeting room for growing startups that need more space and privacy than offered at Trailhead’s base location.
The offices are available to Trailhead members for $400 to $600 per month. Members can also rent personal desks where they can leave their work stations for $129 per month. Four companies have taken up residence in Trailhead North offices, and 20 of the 30 individual desks are already taken.
Idaho 3rd best in U.S. for business, report says
A finance news and opinion website ranked Idaho the third-best state for business, though not all of the report’s findings are good for workers.
The website, 24/7 Wall St., crunched Census data and ranked states by several factors contributing to favorable business conditions. Idaho notched the 10th-highest change in state domestic product at 2.7 percent. Idaho scored well for ranking low on government regulation.
The report credited Idaho for having the second-lowest annual average wage at $39,833, saying, “While low salaries may not satisfy workers, they are a boon for businesses.”
Paylocity picks Meridian for 500-employee office
Paylocity, a payroll and human resources company based in Illinois, has changed its expansion plans, choosing Meridian over Boise as its Idaho home.
The company plans to join Brighton Corp. and AmeriBen at TM Crossing, a business campus under construction northeast of the Ten Mile Road interchange with I-84.
“It’s a win for the entire valley,” says Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd. “We should never think we are competing with each other.”
This roundup appears in the March 15-April 18, 2017, edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine. Click here for the Statesman’s e-edition, which includes Business Insider (subscription required).