Boise & Garden City

CVS on State Street in Boise is dead for now as developer withdraws appeal

Boise group fights a plan to demolish Arcade Building for a new CVS drug store

The organization "Save Boise Neighborhoods" protests plans to demolish Boise's Arcade Building on State Street to make way for a new CVS Pharmacy. The building houses people in 23 apartments who pay low, affordable rent—many of whom are on month-t
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The organization "Save Boise Neighborhoods" protests plans to demolish Boise's Arcade Building on State Street to make way for a new CVS Pharmacy. The building houses people in 23 apartments who pay low, affordable rent—many of whom are on month-t

One short sentence in an email Thursday afternoon might have signaled the end of a plan to build a CVS Pharmacy at State and 17th streets in Boise.

“We are withdrawing and not proceeding with the appeal of (the project),” attorney Geoff Wardle, who represents the developer that sought to build the pharmacy, wrote to city of Boise planner Cody Riddle.

It’s unclear why the CVS appeal was withdrawn and whether a new application will be submitted.

“They gave no indication as to why they withdrew, or how they plan to proceed,” Riddle told the Statesman in an email Friday.

In late September, Indianapolis-based developer T. M. Crowley Northwest applied for permits for the pharmacy at 1625 W. State St. Building it would have required the demolition or other removal of the Arcade Building on the southeast corner of 17th and State, as well as three houses east of 17th and north of Jefferson Street.

The North End and West Downtown neighborhood associations fought hard to stop the project. Critics decried the potential loss of beloved buildings and affordable housing for a 15,000-square-foot retail building and 48 parking spaces, even though the entire site is zoned for commercial use. They staged protests and made their voices heard.

The CVS plan spurred the West Downtown Neighborhood Association to start the process of establishing a conservation district that would preserve the character of certain zones within the neighborhood.

On Dec. 4, the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission denied a permit for a drive-thru window at the pharmacy. The developer appealed that decision to the City Council. Among other points, Wardle argued in his appeal letter that the Planning and Zoning decision was not supported by evidence; that the pharmacy would not unreasonably increase traffic on surrounding streets; that the site is big enough to accommodate the building as well as walls, fences, parking, landscaping and other features; that the project would not adversely affect neighboring properties; and that the project complies with the city’s comprehensive plan.

Efforts to contact the man in charge of the project for T.M. Crowley were unsuccessful.

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