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Boise police will turn a tavern into a Downtown police substation

The Lucky Dog Tavern, left, at 2223 W. Fairview Ave., in the West End of Downtown Boise, will become a substation for the Boise Police Department. It is across the street from where the New Path Community Housing for the chronically homeless is under construction, right.
The Lucky Dog Tavern, left, at 2223 W. Fairview Ave., in the West End of Downtown Boise, will become a substation for the Boise Police Department. It is across the street from where the New Path Community Housing for the chronically homeless is under construction, right. jsowell@idahostatesman.com

The Boise City Council unanimously approved the $1.15 million purchase of a building that houses a bar in the West End to serve as a police substation.

Police Chief Bill Bones said a “Downtown microdistrict” is needed to cope with the Downtown and the West End’s growing residential population and Downtown’s position as a major employment and entertainment center. A substation also would support community policing, allowing officers greater interaction with residents, he said.

While Downtown Boise has just 5 percent of the city’s land area, 20 percent of the calls to police originate from there, the city says. The new substation’s service area will include the Greenbelt, parks along the Boise River, and Boise State University.

“There is a need for police protection in that area,” Boise City Council President Lauren McLean said Tuesday.

The sale is expected to close next month. Lucky Dog Tavern, an LGBTQ bar, will have nine months to find a new location, or 12 if needed. Meanwhile, the bar will operate under a lease with the city.

The tavern is located on a 0.85-acre parcel at 2223 W. Fairview Ave, across the street from where New Path Community Housing for chronically homeless folks is being built.

Keith Phillips, the bar’s owner, said the police department will be an “appreciated addition” to the neighborhood.

“We look forward to securing a new location for the Lucky Dog Tavern and to many more years serving the city’s LGBTQ community,” Phillips said in a statement.

The substation will serve as the headquarters for the police department’s bicycle patrol.

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