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Syringa Valley was to bring 2,000 homes to Southwest Boise. What happened to it?

As prices rise, home building booms from Boise to Caldwell

Home construction is booming from Boise to Caldwell in Southwest Idaho, but home prices are still setting records, worsening the shortage of affordable housing for moderate-income buyers.
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Home construction is booming from Boise to Caldwell in Southwest Idaho, but home prices are still setting records, worsening the shortage of affordable housing for moderate-income buyers.

Construction could begin as early as this fall on a massive housing development that will add more than 2,000 homes in Southwest Boise.

The Locale subdivision, previously known as Syringa Valley, is planned for 600 acres on both sides of West Lake Hazel Road between Cole and Orchard streets. It is being developed by Corey Barton Homes.

Locale will be the largest project for the Meridian company, Idaho’s largest homebuilder. Also known as CBH Homes, it builds about 1,000 homes a year.

Crews are working to blast rock and lava at the site and to install sewer lines. Company President Corey Barton told the Idaho Statesman that he’d hoped to begin construction this summer, but the wet spring has pushed work back and it’s likely it will be fall before houses start going up.

“I’m like a little kid at Christmas who can’t wait for the time to come,” Barton said.

Construction is expected to continue for 10 to 15 years.

“If we have the wet spring we had this year every year, it will take us a lot longer,” Barton said. “If the economy charges for the worse or if interest rates increase, that will have an effect of some sort.”

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Layout of the Syringa Valley housing project, renamed Locale. Provided by the city of Boise


Barton has built several projects of about 120 acres each, but none compare with the size of Locale and its 600 acres.

The project generated controversy as neighbors worried that roads would be overburdened by traffic from thousands of new homes. They were concerned new roads planned for the area would not be able to handle the traffic.

The project was guided through a planned development known as a “specific plan.” It called for a mix of low- and medium-density housing, a village center for community gatherings and commercial and industrial areas. It also looked at traffic concerns and strategies aimed at reducing the number of vehicle trips.

A 2015 housing study by the city of Boise found 9,500 housing units were needed during the following decade to maintain current housing conditions.

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Corey Barton, president of Corey Barton Homes based in Meridian, at Memory Ranch, a CBH development in Kuna, in 2018. Construction of a house typically takes six months from start to finish. Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com

“We’ll definitely have some pent-up demand by the time we get Locale’s permits and we get ready to start building,” Barton said.

The first phase includes 90 lots with four types of configurations: single-family homes on small and large lots, alley-load homes and townhouses. Alley-load homes have the garage entrance on an alley rather than at the front of the house. Barton said he expects to start with five to 10 models of each of those housing types.

The company is looking to be aggressive in building homes at Locale, he said. The 90 beginning lots at Locale are nearly double the 50 on typical CBH projects, he said. The second phase will include 60 to 70 lots, he said.

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Reporter John Sowell has worked for the Statesman since 2013. He covers business and growth issues. He grew up in Emmett and graduated from the University of Oregon.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.

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