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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
▪ 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.
▪ 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.
▪ 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.
▪ 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.
▪ 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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