Boise & Garden City

Boise Police Department: no loss of affordable housing for Downtown station

The Boise Police Department will take up about 1,500 square feet of unused storage space in the Life’s Kitchen building west of the Boise State University campus, spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said in an email.

The building at 1025 S. Capitol Blvd., is one of two Downtown offices the department plans to occupy starting in September. The other one is in City Hall, with an entrance just off the lobby, at 150 N. Capitol Blvd.

Together, the new locations will be the interim headquarters for a new Downtown police station – a move the department has wanted to make for years. About 20 officers now stationed at City Hall West, the department’s central headquarters, will move into the new offices. They will specialize in the type of responses common in Downtown policing.

Besides the Downtown core between Broadway, Front Street, 16th Street and the Boise River, the district includes the piece of ground between Main Street, the river and Americana Boulevard, as well as Kathryn Albertson, Ann Morrison and Julia Davis parks, Boise State University and the Lusk Street Neighborhood south of the Boise River and west of Capitol Boulevard. Besides the most intense commercial use in the city, this area is home to a variety of residential neighborhoods and recreational venues.

“We get a lot of calls for police services downtown. Fortunately, most of those calls are for very minor issues,” said Police Chief Bill Bones in a news release. “But as more people want to live within the downtown area and as Boise State grows along with the number of downtown activities, having a visible and approachable police presence will ensure downtown Boise continues to be the great and safe place it is today.”

The city of Boise owns and operates 132 affordable housing units in the area immediately surrounding the Life’s Kitchen building. Because the department will move into what’s traditionally been storage space, none of those homes will be lost to make room for the new station, Hightower said.

The new offices are temporary headquarters for the Downtown station. The police department wants to open a single, permanent Downtown base “in the not-too-distant future,” Hightower said.