The top 10 Idaho business stories of the week:
1. The developer of a proposed sports stadium west of Downtown Boise could present the city with a formal proposal as soon as this month, says Jeff Eiseman, the president of Agon Sports and Entertainment, which shares ownership with developer Greenstone Properties. The estimated cost of the stadium has risen to $50 million, up from $40 million previously.
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2. The stadium could face a public vote. The Idaho House passed a bill to require that sports stadiums built with city urban-renewal money go before voters. Urban renewal is funded by property taxes. The city of Boise and the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce oppose the bill, but it passed overwhelmingly and was sent to the Senate.
3. A bar near the potential site of the stadium was bought by an agency of the stadium developer, a step toward potential redevelopment in the area. HBCBP LLC bought The Symposion at 2801 W. Fletcher St., about a block from where the stadium might be, according to an Ada County Assessor’s Office record.
4. A Boise nonprofit will soon rent out four new homes, created from used shipping containers modified by Boise’s IndieDwell, as affordable housing. The houses will have four bedrooms and two bathrooms each and will rent for $843 a month, including utilities. Leap Charities is developing the complex at 10000 W. Shields Ave., off Old Horseshoe Bend Road.
5. Newly built homes in Nampa will soon get more expensive. The Nampa City Council approved increasing fees on new development that will raise the cost of building a new house by $3,678 and a new apartment by $2,629, starting in July. The costs, known as impact fees, are paid by developers on new construction to offset the cost of that growth borne by taxpayers.
6. You could soon rent a new, 350-square-foot efficiency apartment in Downtown Boise for $900 a month, or a two-bedroom apartment for $2,300 or more. Two more upscale, multistory apartment complexes are a step closer to being built in the Central Addition neighborhood west of WinCo Foods.
7. A bipartisan bill to remove the cap on Idaho’s homeowners’ property tax exemption has been introduced in the Idaho House by a pair of Treasure Valley legislators. The bill would resuscitate the former annual inflation adjustment on the value of the homeowner’s exemption. Under current law, half the value of a primary dwelling is exempt from property tax each year, up to $100,000.
8. A new county report lists several ways Ada County expanded in 2018 as its population grew 3.6 percent, to an estimated 471,000 people. The growth was the fastest in three years, thanks largely to people moving to the Boise area as its economy booms and the city keeps making best-of lists.
9. Four Nampa-raised brothers — Klint, Kim, Troy and Brett Keller — are building a 33,000-square-foot youth sports complex with four basketball courts, a dance studio, and a speed and agility center at 3001 E. Badger Drive, north of East Railroad Street in Nampa. The $3 million center, called Mettle Sports, is expected to open by fall. Klint and Kim Keller own dental offices in Nampa. Troy Keller is an attorney in Salt Lake City. Brett Keller has been CEO of Priceline.com since 2016.
10. After decades of local and touring performers, Tom Grainey’s Sporting Pub will pull the plug on live music at the end of March. It’s a business decision. “There’s just not a return on it anymore,” says Jason Kovac, who has owned Grainey’s at 109 S. 6th St. for nearly 11 years.
And three more for good measure:
▪ After elevating Boise’s culinary ambitions since 2013, State & Lemp will close on March 23 at 2870 W. State St. Owner and chef Christian Phernetton, who bought State & Lemp in 2018, will rename the space Epek (a name derived from “epoch”) and revise its menu and approach.
▪ Nicholas Jones ones launched his first two Good Burger locations in 2018 — a food-court restaurant at Boise Towne Square, and a small counter at Chow Public Market and Eatery at the Boise Spectrum. Now he’s opening more: a Downtown restaurant at 1003 W. Main St. and, in coming months, at 3143 E. Magic View Drive, Meridian, and 10889 W. Fairview Ave. in Boise (the former home of Zimm’s Burger Stache).
▪ Ashley Syms plans to open a Downtown Boise breakfast-and-lunch restaurant this spring with a small menu, featuring items like avocado toast and six-minute eggs, at 111 S. 10th St., next to Good Burger and The Drop. The 1,300-square-foot A Cafe (stylized Ā Café) should be open by late spring.
Statesman reporters John Sowell, Hayley Harding, Kate Talerico, Michael Deeds and Chadd Cripe, and the Lewiston Tribune, contributed.