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Popular corn-maze site along I-84 gets new owner — who plans to develop it

For 21 years, The Farmstead has created a corn maze at Jim and Hilary Lowe's farm next to Interstate 84 and Eagle Road. This year's season, featuring pumpkins, hayrides, a petting zoo and pony rides, will take place Sept. 21 to Nov. 3. In this scene from 2014, the maze theme was the Wizard of Oz. Idaho Central Credit Union bought the 51-acre parcel for development of a regional mortgage center and call center. The Lowes hope to continue farming and hosting the maze as long as possible.
For 21 years, The Farmstead has created a corn maze at Jim and Hilary Lowe's farm next to Interstate 84 and Eagle Road. This year's season, featuring pumpkins, hayrides, a petting zoo and pony rides, will take place Sept. 21 to Nov. 3. In this scene from 2014, the maze theme was the Wizard of Oz. Idaho Central Credit Union bought the 51-acre parcel for development of a regional mortgage center and call center. The Lowes hope to continue farming and hosting the maze as long as possible. doswald@idahostatesman.com

Idaho’s largest credit union has bought a 51.6-acre parcel next to Interstate 84 and Eagle Road, a highly visible parcel that has been home for many years to The Farmstead Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival.

Idaho Central Credit Union, headquartered in Chubbuck, plans to build a regional mortgage center and call center there, spokeswoman Laura Smith said. The parcel is just north of Overland Road and north of where Norco Inc., the Boise industrial-gases and medical-supplies company, recently built a two-story store and medical billing office.

“This is a great central location in the Treasure Valley, and we will have the space to design and develop what we need to serve our members,” Smith said.

The credit union has 1,000 employees and 33 branches around the state, including 15 in the Treasure Valley, and has more than $3.9 billion in assets. It bought the property for an undisclosed price from Idaho Elks Rehab, a group that provides funding to nonprofit rehab providers, universities and community groups. The acreage is assessed at $87,300, according to the Ada County Assessor’s Office, but likely went for far more considering its location.

It’s unclear when construction may begin or whether other buildings could also be built on the parcel, Smith said.

“We don’t have a time line or plan for development or construction,” she said.

Hilary Lowe, co-owner of The Farmstead, said the property had been listed for sale for several years. “It’s not a big surprise to us, and they’ve been good about keeping us in the loop about what’s been going on,” Lowe said.

St. Luke’s Health System took over the Elks’ rehab hospital in Boise in 2014, but is not affiliated with Idaho Elks Rehab, a program of the Idaho Elks Association.

Lowe and her husband, Jim, want to continue farming and offering the corn maze as long as possible. Eventually, they expect to relocate the maze to less-visible farmland they own in the Meridian area, she said.

“We know at some point we’ll have to move The Farmstead,” she said. “We know we’ll be there this year, but beyond that we don’t have a lot of information.”

Availability of the land for the future has not been determined, Smith said.

It’s unclear how many credit union employees will work at the new building once it’s built. Most of the company’s mortgage officers work at ICCU’s Downtown Boise office at 4th and Idaho streets, with others at branches throughout the Treasure Valley, Smith said.

The credit union is building two branches, at 11255 W. Fairview and 2770 S. Vista Ave., in Boise. They are scheduled to open by fall. The Fairview branch will replace an existing location at 10990 W. Fairview.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell.
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