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Industrial park developers want to “be good neighbors” to mobile home park residents

Blue lines mark a proposed industrial park, with a planned extension of Lake Hazel Road in the foreground, near the southern end of the planned Gateway East Urban Renewal District. The northwest corner of the industrial park would adjoin Blue Valley, a mobile home park with more than 200 affordable homes (it’s the green patch with houses and a pond, left of the I-84 label).
Blue lines mark a proposed industrial park, with a planned extension of Lake Hazel Road in the foreground, near the southern end of the planned Gateway East Urban Renewal District. The northwest corner of the industrial park would adjoin Blue Valley, a mobile home park with more than 200 affordable homes (it’s the green patch with houses and a pond, left of the I-84 label). Provided by city of Boise

The developers planning an industrial park on Boise’s southeastern edge don’t want their project to harm life in a mobile home neighborhood to the northwest, the developer’s project manager said.

“We want to be good neighbors, and that’s something we’ve done throughout our firm’s history,” said Dave Ward, who’s overseeing the industrial park’s development for Boyer Co., a Salt Lake City developer.

Talk of the industrial park, which would be built on city-owned land across Interstate 84 from Micron’s headquarters and west of a WinCo distribution center, has made residents of the Blue Valley mobile home park jittery, partly because it comes just a few months after they found out about plans for a truck terminal immediately north of their homes. On top of that, the city of Boise wants to someday build a train-to-truck transload facility immediately west of Blue Valley.

A trucking company wants to build a terminal next to a mobile home park in fast-growing Boise. Residents fear diesel fumes, 24/7 noise, increased traffic. The controversy pits affordable housing and a vulnerable population against business.

Blue Valley residents and their advocates worry that industrial noise and other environmental impacts will make their homes less enjoyable.

The industrial park shouldn’t be a problem for its residential neighbors, Ward, who visited Boise this week, told the Idaho Statesman. For one thing, only the northwestern tip of its narrow northernmost lot would neighbor the mobile home park. And that parcel likely would be among the last to have industrial uses built on it — and it might be 20 years before that happens, he said.

Boyer would first develop the park’s southern lots, located south of the WinCo center. When the time comes to develop the northern tip of the park, Ward said, Boyer will consider planting trees or installing other measures to protect Blue Valley.

Boyer’s deal with Boise entitles the city to 12.5 percent of the industrial park’s profits. Ward said the company hopes to build something there and bring in its first tenant next year, “assuming that all market conditions remain relatively the same.”

What the company won’t do is build lots of big buildings on the hope that it can find tenants to fill them and turn a profit, he said.

“We hear that a lot: ‘We have this great piece of land, and we have all this interest, and if you build it you’re going to be the most successful developer in the world,’ ” Ward said. “The reality is there are a lot of developers who have gone out of business because they chased that story.”

But there’s no reason Boyer can’t make the industrial park a successful venture, Ward said. The land set aside for it has plenty of space to accommodate all kinds and sizes of industrial buildings, as well as parking. Crucial utility connections — electricity, gas, water, sewer — are close. The developer might even sprinkle in some office space if tenants want it, Ward said.

Boyer has hired Boise commercial real estate firm Thornton Oliver Keller to help market the industrial park. Agents Devin Pierce and Dan Minnaert said they’re seeing heightened interest these days in industrial buildings with more than 30,000 square feet — compared to just a few years ago, when most industrial clients were looking for 10,000 square feet or less.

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