Business

Amazon means jobs for Nampa, traffic for Meridian. 10 business stories to catch up on

The top 10 Idaho business stories of the week:

1. If Amazon opens a big fulfillment center in Nampa, it could create 3,000 jobs, Nampa officials say. But all those workers will bring more traffic to roads leading to it. That worries Meridian city leaders. Meridian would receive none of the tax benefits of the center but would receive new burdens, says Mayor Tammy de Weerd.

2. To mitigate the traffic effects, Nampa is asking the developer of the likely Amazon fulfillment center to pay for $14 million in roadway improvements when construction ends. Known so far only as “Project Bronco,” with no officially confirmed Amazon role, the center could generate an estimated 7,000 trips per day during peak delivery season, including an estimated 358 truck trips.

3. The operator of a regional distribution center in Boise for Shopko, the struggling discount retailer, plans to close the center in April, costing 120 workers their jobs there. The distribution center, run by Spectrum America, is near the Boise Airport at 1001 E. Gowen Road.

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Deliveries to and from Shopko’s regional distribution center in Boise, 1001 E. Gowen Road, are falling as the discount retailer shrinks as it works through bankruptcy. David Staats dstaats@idahostatesman.com

4. Boise finished 95th among the 100 largest cities in the United States in a recent ranking of fixed-broadband download speeds. Idaho was also the fourth-slowest state.

5. Texas billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks, who began buying thousands of acres of Idaho property in 2016, have put 11 more properties on the market. Most are in Valley County, including 128 acres near Cascade with an asking price of $281,600 and 400 acres near Garden Valley in Boise County for $472,650.

6. A Boise development company ran into fierce opposition a year ago when it proposed building 307 townhouses, single-family homes and apartments on both sides of West Hill Road Parkway in Northwest Boise. On Feb. 26, Trilogy Development unveiled a slightly smaller development, but it didn’t seem to sit better with most of the 200 people who crowded into a neighborhood meeting.

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The North West Neighborhood Association handed out yard signs for people opposed to Trilogy Development seeking a zone change that would allow it to build up to eight dwelling units per acre. Current zoning on the site off West Hill Road Parkway allows two units per acre. John Sowell jsowell@idahostatesman.com

7. Saint Alphonsus Health System delayed submitting some insurance claims for a year, its patients were told this month. One letter said Saint Alphonsus Medical Group “recently experienced some issues related to our Medicare billing processes.” Saint Al’s isn’t saying what those are.

8. A Toronto-based mining company has tapped former Idaho Gov. Butch Otter to serve on its board as it expands its operations into Idaho. First Cobalt is gearing up to mine at its Iron Creek cobalt project southwest of Salmon.

9. A developer aiming to supply workforce housing in Eagle is proposing 91 townhouses and 216 apartments downtown. Greg McVay of Boise project, called Molinari Park, would also include commercial space.

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Revised plans for Molinari Park bring the project further in line with Eagle’s rigid design codes. Above, views of the retail hub that would anchor the development. Provided by Pivot North Design

10. The Idaho Youth Ranch has received about 40 percent more donations than usual so far this year, and Marie Kondo gets the credit. Her new Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” has prompted people to get rid of material possessions they don’t need.

Here are five more that might interest you:

Meridian is taking the first steps toward widening the increasingly busy Linder Road and building a new overpass at its intersection with Interstate 84 — a corridor that has seen an onslaught of new developments in the last year, with more to come. The city is willing to dangle money in front of state and local highway agencies to entice them to do the work sooner than they want.

The proposed $85 million new Downtown library drew criticism for its cost during a town-hall meeting held by the Boise City Council. Some said it is way too expensive, including a woman who called it a Taj Mahal. Some suggested the city build more branch libraries.

Boise may not have legal authority to call a citywide advisory vote on plans for an $85 million replacement for the Downtown library and for a new stadium, Mayor David Bieter says. But that may not stop a citizens group from gathering voters’ signatures to put two initiatives on the ballot.

The Payless ShoeSource chain has marked down goods as it prepares to go out of business. Payless has seven stores in the Treasure Valley and says its liquidation sales will continue at most stores until they close at the end of May, though some may close by the end of March.

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The Payless Shoesource store at Boise Towne Square mall is one of six in the Treasure Valley that will close this spring. David Staats dstaats@idahostatesman.com

A veteran Idaho journalist has been named editor for the Idaho Statesman. Christina Lords, 32, who has been the newspaper’s interim local editor since December, was named to the job permanently, succeeding Rhonda Prast. Sports Editor Chadd Cripe, 43, was named assistant editor.

Statesman staff writers Kate Talerico, John Sowell, Michael Deeds, Cynthia Sewell, Katy Moeller, Audrey Dutton and Nicole Blanchard contributed.

David Staats is business editor of the Idaho Statesman, which he joined in 2004. He has assigned, edited and reported business, politics, government and other Idaho stories since 2006.Get the top Idaho business stories of the week in a free email every Monday morning. Go here, then press the “Select” button under Idaho Business.
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