Dense development divides Meridian. Nampa wonders about Amazon. 10 stories to catch up on

Meridian’s Southern Rim: Keep density away from our rural neighborhood

Residents of South Meridian are concerned that developers are controlling growth in Meridian. They want to preserve the agricultural and rural heritage of their neighborhood as the city considers allowing more dense suburban development nearby.
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Residents of South Meridian are concerned that developers are controlling growth in Meridian. They want to preserve the agricultural and rural heritage of their neighborhood as the city considers allowing more dense suburban development nearby.

The top 10 Idaho business stories of the week:

1. Public opinion on dense housing development in Meridian is starkly divided. Some residents say apartments, townhomes, and closely packed single-family homes are disrupting those parts of the city that still evoke its rural, small-town roots. No one seems to wants dense development near their homes, but the city could soon be adding more of it.

2. Amazon’s decision to delay building its giant Nampa distribution center has city officials wondering: How long must we wait? Amazon’s developer, Panattoni Development Co. Inc. of Newport Beach, California, has not told the city when the project will be completed. And Amazon isn’t saying.

The Amazon U.S. fulfillment network consists of more than 50 fulfillment centers, over 20 sortation centers and more than 90,000 full-time employees. Have a look around.

3. 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 — The Cartee, and Boise Caddis — are a step closer to being built in the Central Addition neighborhood west of WinCo Foods.

Boise is one of the nation's fastest-growing cities. Here's a look at what's already been built and what's to come for Idaho's capital.

4. An out-of-state developer is proposing to build 75 living units in an eight-story building Downtown, with 75 bicycle racks — and no parking. Visum Development Group of Ithaca, New York, applied to the city of Boise to build at 600 W. Front St., just west of where a new hotel is going up.

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Rendering of the eight-story apartment building proposed at 6th and Front streets in Downtown Boise. The historic Chinese Odd Fellows Building, shown in the center, would remain. Provided by Holst Architecture, Portland

5. The developers who renovated Boise’s former Owyhee Hotel five years ago into today’s The Owyhee have just sold it. LocalConstruct, a Los Angeles firm, and longtime Boise developer Clay Carley sold the Downtown building to a company controlled by Diana Hendricks, the Wisconsin billionaire who bought Boise’s three-building BoDo retail and office complex 17 months ago.

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The Owyhee, the former iconic Downtown Boise hotel, opens again today, July 9, 2014, after being closed for a year for renovations. Katherine Jones

6. A controversial bill at the center of debate over the use of urban renewal funds for a new stadium in Boise may never make it to an Idaho Senate vote. Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, chairman of the Senate committee to which the House bill was assigned, is “holding” the bill, denying it a hearing, because of concerns about it.

Chris Schoen, of Atlanta's Greenstone Properties, explains how the lessons and path of mixed-use stadium projects in Fort Wayne, Ind., and North Augusta, S.C., could be templates for a $41 million stadium in Boise.

7. A trucking terminal may be built next to a mobile home park after the Boise City Council moved it one step closer to final approval. The council upheld the developer’s appeal of a Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation to reject the terminal.

Residents of the Blue Valley mobile home park in southeast Boise include seniors and families, says Bonnie Hardey, president of the neighborhood association. She spoke to the City Council on March 13, 2019, to oppose a trucking terminal next door.

8. Some community activists are angry that Boise Mayor David Bieter had a closed-door meeting with a lawyer for a trucking company during a break in a Boise City Council meeting. Bieter met with Jason Mau, a Boise lawyer representing R+L Carriers, an Ohio company that proposed a diesel truck terminal next to a mobile home park on Eisenman Road across Interstate 84 from Micron Technology.

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.

9. Several stores at Boise Towne Square have closed or are closing, including Payless Shoesource; Crazy 8 and Charlotte Russe, all owned by companies that are closing due to bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the mall manager says he is working with one potential tenant, whom he declined to identify, that would lease the entire space used by Sears, which closed in January.

Boise Towne Square copes with change as longtime mall stores close nationwide and others shuffle locations. The popular indoor mall first opened in 1988 and features 150 store locations.

10. A Middleton couple has bought Boise’s Moxie Java coffee-shop chain.. Ryan and Julie Stewart bought the business from Stephanie Dean, who had owned Moxie with her husband, Dean, but decided to sell it after he died. “Over the years, we had supported them heavily — buying more drinks than we should have,” Ryan Stewart said.

Ryan and Julie Stewart bought Treasure Valley coffee brand Moxie Java last fall. They're working to make the 31-year-old company the area's best coffeehouse.

Here are six more stories of note:

The University of Idaho on moved a major step closer to a new basketball and events arena decades in the making. The State Board of Education voted unanimously to allow the university to begin the bidding and construction phase on the $46 million project.

According to the university, the new facility will be a one-of-a-kind engineered wood structure, highlighting Idaho’s wood products industry and providing a unique home for U of I’s basketball programs as well as other activities.

If it has its way, Boise Working Together will put a proposed Boise sports stadium and new main library to a vote. About two dozen people gathered Saturday before heading out to start collecting the required signatures to place a pair of initiatives on the November ballot.

A group of about two dozen Boise residents, who want voters to decide on a new library and proposed stadium, gather at a park along Vista Avenue on Saturday, March 16, 2019, to begin a signature drive to add two initiatives to the November ballot.

Power outages in a section of Garden City near Chinden Boulevard and Veterans Memorial Parkway in recent weeks have affected businesses in the area. Employees at Wildflour Bakery and two other businesses on 42nd Street say outages have brought their operations to a halt for an hour or more, leaving warehouses dark and slowing deliveries.

The bakery has a small retail shop in front, with a few seats. Sells coffee, tea and baked goods. Wildflour was previously a wholesale bakery only, operating out of Mary Cogswell's renovated garage in Boise.

Boise’s Guru Donuts has new owners: Evan and Krystle McLaughlin of Mission Donut, a year-old, home-based doughnut business on the North End. They bought Guru from Kevin and Angel Moran and will keep operating it from the Idanha building at 10th and Main streets.

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Vincent Van Gogh donuts at Guru Donuts during an Indulge Boise food tour. The shop is in Downtown’s historic Idanha Building. Kyle Green

Sockeye Grill and Brewery will close its Cole Road restaurant, open since 2002, at the end of March as it seeks to relocate. The Sockeye on Fairview Avenue will remain open.

Marketing Director Mark Breske talks about the difference between succeeding as a brewpub serving craft beer versus expanding into distribution. Sockeye, which has two brewpubs in Boise, is expanding its reach in the Northwest.

State & Lemp restaurant will close March 23 at 2870 W. State St. Owner and chef Christian Phernetton, who bought State & Lemp in 2018, will rename the space Epek and plans to open on April 11 with a new menu and new approach.

Statesman reporters Kate Talerico, John Sowell, Haylee Harding, Michael Deeds, Michael Katz, Katy Moeller and Chadd Cripe contributed.

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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.