Planned Parcel B building tweaks design, adds drive through

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The proposed office building on Parcel B is getting closer to reality - albeit slightly smaller and with a new feature.

Gardner Co. has submitted a revised design review application for the five-story office building on its Pioneer Crossing development on the southwest quadrant. The overall square footage has been reduced by 18,000 square feet - and a new drive-through is proposed along the east side of the building.

Gardner Co. executive VP David Wali tells BoiseDev the drive through application is for a potential bank tenant.

The plans also call for the removal of a service driveway on the western side of the building - to be replaced by a landscaped berm. 

The office building will be joined on the large site by a parking garage which is nearing completion, a Hilton Garden Inn under construction and a future Panera Bread drivethrough.

Parcel B is located on the block bounded by Front St., Myrtle St., 11th St. and 13th St.  

Landmark Downtown Boise restaurant could lose its lease

Courtesy Piper Pub & Grill

Courtesy Piper Pub & Grill

A landmark Downtown Boise restaurant could soon close up shop.

Piper Pub and Grill opened in the Capitol Terrace building at 8th St. & Main St. in Downtown Boise in 1989 - offering a full bar, second floor balcony patio and pub fare.T

The Piper Pub space was listed for lease by Hawkins & Co. which purchased the Capitol Terrace building last year and plans a round of upgrades in coming months.

Owners Gene & Erin Hutchison are hoping to work something out - but so far haven't been able to make a deal.

"We are currently in negotiations for lease renewal but it does not seem that Hawkins is all that interested in renewing our lease," Gene said via email. "We would love to stay were we are and    continue to be a downtown staple but that is looking less and less likely at this point."

The Hutchisons are looking at potential relocation options - but so far have not been able to find the right spot.

"The years that we have owned the Piper Pub have been great and we are set truly sad that it had  down to this," Gene said.

The Hutchisons say they are hoping to make one last pitch to stay put.

Officials for Hawkins Co. did not return a request for comment.

Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn teased for Village at Meridian, other retailers confirmed

Artist's rendering of Village at Meridian expansion

Artist's rendering of Village at Meridian expansion

The Village at Meridian may have the first new stores for its planned expansion.

Village owner Centercal has posted an updated leasing flyer which shows Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn taking space on the first floor of a to-be-built building near H&M to the west of the current village core.

Screenshot of Village at Meridian Leasing plan showing future expansion

Screenshot of Village at Meridian Leasing plan showing future expansion

Pottery Barn would take up 13,153 square feet and Williams-Sonoma would occupy 13,147 square feet according to the leasing plan. The Pottery Barn would be about 30% larger than the current Boise store while Williams-Sonoma would be nearly three times as large.

Village officials won't confirm the plan posted their website, however.

"The Village at Meridian currently has no formal agreements for the expansion of the center. There has been discussions around expanding to the west and building out the area toward Eagle Road, but there are no updates or changes at this point," Village general manager Hugh Crawford said in a prepared statement in response to a question by BoiseDev.

Officials for Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn (which share the same corporate owner) did not respond to comment - including questions about the future of current locations at Boise Towne Square.

ALSO READ:
Corner Bakery closes Village at Meridian store

If built, Williams Sonoma would compete with nearby Sur La Table and Pottery Barn would go head-to-head to Z Gallerie.

Other retailers confirmed

Crawford did confirm some other additions to the existing Village footprint.

"Announced retail tenants for first quarter include Panache Aveda Day Spa, Comme les Filles and American Eagle along with several new office tenants who are currently under construction," he said.

Panache will open its fourth local location - adding to two spas in Boise and one in Eagle. Comme les Filles is a Ketchum-based retailer of women's clothing and accessories. American Eagle Outfitters is a teen-focused retailer of fashions which currently has a store in Boise Towne Square.

Hospital shuffle: Soon-to-close hospital to be replaced with psych facility

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Once a long-term care facility on Bonito Way in Meridian closes, it will be revamped into a new 72-bed psychiatric care facility owned by Haven Behavioral Healthcare of Nashville, TN.

Earlier this week, BoiseDev reported Vibra Hospital in Meridian would move to Boise and replace the Southwestern Idaho Advanced Care facility on Franklin Rd. 

Lender MedEquities says Haven will pay $7.7 million to purchase the current hospital and spend $11.3 million to remodel and upgrade the facility for use as a psych hospital. The news release does not specifically list the soon-to-be vacated Vibra facility, but two sources confirmed the plans to BoiseDev.com.

MedEquities said the new hospital will be aligned with Sage Healthcare - a large psychiatric physician group in the area. 

This will be Haven's seventh for-profit psych hospital, joining buildings in Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The consolidation of the Vibra Meridian hospital and Boise Southwest Idaho Advanced Care facility will result in more than 130 job cuts, according to filings with the State of Idaho.

Bottle shop set for Linen District

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A new bottle shop is set to open next to Big City Coffee in Downtown Boise's Linen District, according to filings.

Hops and Bottles has applied to revamp the former Alloway Lighting building on Grove St for a small beer joint with seating for 40 people at a bar and tables. 

The exterior of the building will get a revamp and a small parking lot will be reconfigured for more bike spaces than required and fewer car spaces that required - twelve bike slots and fifteen car spaces.

Meriwether Cider to open Downtown Boise cider house

Rendering courtesy Glenn Rummler

Rendering courtesy Glenn Rummler

The maker of Blackberry Boom and other ciders will be moving to a bustling local food corridor in Downtown Boise.

Meriwether Cider will move into the current Portsche's Jewelry Boutique building adjacent to Freak Alley at Bannock St. & 9th St.

The new cider house will feature 20 taps - with its own creations on tap, as well as ciders from other providers around the region.  It will also have 30-40 bottle options to take home or enjoy in the cider house.

Indoor/outdoor bar

Indoor/outdoor bar

“We want to highlight the diversity and rich cider culture both in the USA and around the world. We hope to provide Boise with a well-rounded cider education through the cider house concept,” says Kate Leadbetter one of the owners and founders of Meriwether Cider.

A new indoor/outdoor bartop is planned similar to one featured across the street at 10 Barrel, plus a patio and an upstairs event room.

Meriwether will join Coiled Winery on the Bannock St. corridor, both offering locally-crafted alcoholic beverages.

Renovations are set to start in March.

Meriwether currently has a facility with a small tasting room in Garden City.

As BoiseDev was the first to report, Portsche's is set to move to another location Downtown

Boise hospital to close, lay off employees

Courtesy Ernest Health

Courtesy Ernest Health

The Southwest Idaho Advanced Care Hospital on Franklin Rd. in Boise is closing this winter, according to a filing with the Idaho Department of Labor.

Ernest Healthcare LLC told the State it would close the hospital and lay off 135 employees in coming months. The filing was made under provisions of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification act, which requires employers cutting more than 100 employees to give 60 days notice of the closure.  The WARN filing for the Boise hospital was made January 3rd.

The Boise location will not remain empty long, as Vibra Hospital of Boise will leave its current location on Bonita Way in Meridian to move to the Franklin Rd. complex.  The Vibra hospital will decrease from 60 beds to 40 as part of the move.

Both the Franklin Rd. and Bonita Way hospitals currently serve as long-term acute facilities - a place for patients to go who need long-term care from injury or illness and are discharged from larger hospital facilities like St. Luke's or Saint Alphonsus.

"We are constantly evaluating our portfolio to look for ways to more efficiently provide services in our communities," Vibra Divisional President Sean McCarthy said in a prepared statement.  "This consolidation of services gives us the right number of beds to meet the needs of patients in the Treasure Valley and throughout the state of Idaho." 

Ernest Health officials did not immediately return a request for further comment.

The 125 job cuts are the most for a Boise-area employer since Motive Power laid off more than 200 people in early 2016, according to filings with the Idaho Department of Labor.

Corner Bakery closes doors on Meridian store

Photo courtesy Shelly Houston

Photo courtesy Shelly Houston

The Corner Bakery Cafe at the Village at Meridian has closed its doors.  

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The store first opened in 2014, one of the first businesses to open in the large commercial project at Eagle Rd. and Fairview Ave.  

A sign posted on the door says it is “currently closed” - it is unclear if it is a temporary or permanent closure. We have reached out to Corner Bakery officials and are awaiting a reply. 

When franchisee FEAST Northwest opened the. Meridian location, it said it would also open a second store near Boise Towne Square that never materialized.  

Corner Bakery featured a full menu of breakfast and lunch foods in a fast-casual setting. 

Plan for new Barber Valley park moves forward

Rendering Courtesy City of Boise

Rendering Courtesy City of Boise

A second large park in Boise’s Barber Valley is beginning to take shape. 

The Boise Department of Parks and Recreation is set to hold a neighborhood meeting on January 17th for the 20 acre park along the Boise River near Eckert Rd.

The park plan currently calls for baseball fields, basketball courts, volleyball nets, "picnic pods," and parking.  

ALSO READ:
Boise could see new riverside park if the "ifs" can be worked out

It is envisioned as a more sports-oriented park than the nearby Marianne Williams Park which is dedicated primarily to open space and trails.

The newest park would be named for Alta Harris.

A neighborhood meeting is set for January 17th at 5:30pm at the Library at Bown Crossing.

This story came from the BoiseDev Facebook group - join the community!

Broadcasting fans plan history museum in old Nampa radio building

Courtesy History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation

Courtesy History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation

One of the first radio station buildings in the Treasure Valley is about to get new life.

The History of Idaho Broadcasting Foundation has agreed to purchase the former KFXD building on 12th Avenue South in in Downtown Nampa.

The building has hosted a number of businesses since KFXD moved elsewhere (and was late consolidated with Boise sister stations under the Townsquare Media banner).

Art Gregory runs the radio group - and plans the Idaho Broadcasting History & Education Center, which could tap into his group's large collection of material about radio and television around the state.

The group has launched a capital campaign to pay off the building.

BoiseDev Developer of the Year has storied history, more to come

Photo inset courtesy Hawkins Co.

Photo inset courtesy Hawkins Co.

Gary Hawkins spent part of his childhood living in a small home behind Boise's Vista Village on the Boise Bench. In the 1950s and 1960s, Boise was a small sleepy town with loads of potential, but didn't stand out much in size or scope from other cities in the region like Bozeman or Spokane or Eugene.

In 2018, though, Boise has seen a renascence and has grown into a regional powerhouse - with big gains in population, culture and influence.  Just about once a week a new piece in the national media touts Boise or Idaho as a whole.

Hawkins, has a foot in both worlds. He grew up in a smaller, sleepier Boise - but now helps shape the town's potential.

The inaugural BoiseDev Developer of the Year is Gary Hawkins of Hawkins Co.

His biography reads like it was written by a computer algorithm trained in Idaho facts.  Grew up in Boise. Scouted sites for Albertsons. The ability to peel 100 pounds if potatoes in about half an hour.

Hawkins has developed more then 200 projects across the country since starting his firm in the late 1970s. 

In the last few years, his company has put increased focus on the Treasure Valley.

“This is our hometown and we love it," Hawkins told BoiseDev this spring. "I live downtown and have for years."

Rendering of updated Capital Terrace

Rendering of updated Capital Terrace

That love led him to acquire the Capital Terrace project at 8th and Main Streets.  The beleaguered project has seen better days.  It helped kick off the rebirth of Downtown Boise in the 1980s, with a large parking garage and attached retail.  But it's painted concrete look hasn't aged well - due in fact to a lack of upgrades by the original owners in recent years.

Hawkins stepped in to buy the property in April.

“I like the property and when I found it was available, I thought this would fit nicely in our portfolio," he said. "We do work all over the country, and it's nice to do something in our hometown."

Plans are underway to give the building a makeover - with new finishes and updates. A covered farmers market is even on the drawing board.  With its location along Boise's growing "restaurant row," the retail has potential to be part of the latest revolution in Downtown Boise.

"We love the location," he said. "We think it’s one of the best locations in Boise."

It's not the only project Hawkins has his finger in.  The company lists 13 properties for lease in Boise alone, with more in Meridian, Eagle and across the state.

The new Emerald Station project adjacent to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center on Curtis Rd. would be anchored by two medical office buildings for St. Al's, plus the entry of Cascadia Healthcare to the area. Future retail, office and possibly even a hotel would revitalize the former school site in a part of Boise needing some attention.

His company is also behind the large North Pointe development at State St. and Gary Ln.  A 323-apartment complex blends with new retail - featuring Native Grill and Wings, Black Bear Diner, Coldstone Creamery, Smashburger and more. The project has been in progress for the past several years, but got fully up to speed in 2017, adding more options in a major retail corridor near Walmart and Albertsons.

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Hawkins also owns the land under and is an investor in Inn at 500 - a new hotel with more than 100 rooms, balconies and local art.  The hotel opened in early 2017 and adds a new signature touch to the southern portion of the Downtown Boise core.

From his beginnings in a small home on the Boise Bench, to a prolific developer with a love of Boise - Gary Hawkins is the very first BoiseDev Developer of the Year.

 

Choosing the first Developer of the Year

Boise is a hot bed of activity these days - and selecting just a single developer to highlight wasn't easy.  Of all the options, we narrowed it down to four:

Tommy Ahlquist of Gardner Co.: This year his company began construction on Pioneer Crossing and Ten Mile Crossing, as well as several other small developments.

Mike Brown of LocalConstruct: Brown and his firm have been active with the redevelopment of the Watercooler, construction of The Fowler and more in the works.

Clay Carley: Carley is building a new apartment project at 5th and Idaho, as well as working on a new hotel and garage downtown.

Gary Hawkins: We ultimately chose Gary this year because of the diversity of projects his company is pursuing around Boise - from downtown to the Bench to the State St. coridoor.

 

Bye, Taco Bell. Hello, Taco Bell

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ES-O-EN, the local Taco Bell franchisee plans to tear down the store on Overland near I-84.  

"The existing Taco Bell building is a building that has gone through several tenants and remodels and the owners have decided to tear it down and rebuild in the same location since the current building would need extensive repair work completed," the applicant wrote in its letter to city staff.

The current orange-dominated exterior would be replaced with a newer earth tone palette with purple accents. 

The current drive-through lane and parking features would be retained - with adjustments to landscaping and other features. 

City councilor plans two towers in Downtown Boise

Boise City Council member and Capital City Development Corporation board member Scot Ludwig plans to build a pair of towers on land he controls at 5th St. and Broad St. in Boise.

On the north corner, Ludwig would build a nine-story office and parking structure on the southeast corner of the intersection, and an 11-story condo building on the north corner.

The two projects would be linked by a skybridge which will contain parking and a terrace over Broad St. - about 44 feet above the ground.

Here's what is planned, according to documents filed with the City of Boise:

  • South property - nine stories
    • Ground floor retail and parking
    • Five levels of parking - including two that span over Broad St.
    • Three stories of office space.
  • North property - 11 stories
    • Four Two-story "live work" units facing 5th Street
    • Third floor office space
    • Two levels of parking, connected to the sky bridge
    • Five stories of condominiums - four per floor
  • 273 parking spaces
  • 24 total condos

The project will need to be approved for both a conditional use permit and get design review approval, as well as a variance. The allowed height for buildings in the area is currently six stories, but Ludwig and his team are proposing to go as high as 11-stories.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated LocalConstruct was a developer on this project. Ludwig is the only developer listed.   

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Apartments, restaurant planned for vacant lot on Park Blvd.

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Gardner Co. and the Harry W. Morrison Foundation are teaming up for a plan to transform a vacant parking lot on Park Blvd. into a development for families and seniors.

The lot on Park Blvd. sits between the Stonehouse bar and the Falcon Building along the Boise River Greenbelt

The Park Place development would feature

  • A 7,000 square foot restaurant on the Boise River
  • Seventy senior-living apartments
  • Seventy-six family apartments at market rate
  • First floor "podium style" parking (garage on the bottom with apartment towers above

The four-story building would be built by Gardner on a 3 acre piece of land owned by the Morrison Foundation. 

The project will first go through a rezoning application with the City of Boise to allow for the residential use.

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BoiseDev 2017 Top 10: What topped the charts

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Thanks for all the support in 2017! Here's the top ten most-read stories of the year here:

Poke Fish Bar planned for Vista Ave.

Boise is set to get another palace of poke.

The former Right on Time Clock & Watch Repair shop on Vista next to Bruneel Tire will be remodeled into a new restaurant for Fish Poké Bar.

A $50,000 remodel will convert the shop into a restaurant with capacity for about 48 people - in a style described as "similar to a Subway," according to permits filed with the City of Boise.

The applicant is the Qui family - which currently operates the Panda Garden restaurant on Overland Rd.

Separately, Michael Deeds notes that Paddles Up Poke, which opened a location downtown this year, is set to open a second location at McMillan and Eagle.

Boise “not preferred,” won’t get F-35s

USAF photo

USAF photo

The US Air Force announced it has picked other sites and will not base F-35s at Boise’s Gowen Field. Here’s the USAF news release: 

  •  WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force has selected Truax Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin and Dannelly Field, Alabama as the preferred locations for the next two Air National Guard F-35A bases.

    “Selecting Truax Field and Dannelly Field will increase Air National Guard F-35A units providing 5th Generation airpower around the world,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “As F-35As arrive at these locations, we will use the existing aircraft at these fields to replace the aging F-16s at other Air National Guard units.”

    F-35As will eventually replace many of the 4th generation Air Force aircraft. However, the Air Force will continue to fly a mix of 5th and 4th generation fighters into the 2040s, in order to maintain enough fighters to meet combatant commander requirements, provide required training and allow a reasonable deployment tempo for the force.

    “Putting F-35s at these two Air National Guard bases continues our transition into the next generation of air superiority,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “It helps ensure we can always offer the Commander-in-Chief air power options and be ready to penetrate any enemy air defenses, hold any target at risk and go when and where the president tells us to go. We're the options guys. The F-35 is critical to the family of systems we need to accomplish this mission for the nation now and in the future."

    At this time, the Air Force expects the F-35As to begin arriving at Truax Field in early 2023 and at Dannelly Field later that year.

    These locations remain preferred alternatives until the secretary of the Air Force makes the final basing decisions after the requisite environmental analysis is complete.

    The Air Force also evaluated Gowen Field ANGB, Idaho, Selfridge ANGB, Michigan and Jacksonville Air Guard Station, Florida in this round of decisions. Those bases were reasonable alternatives, but not preferred.

    Previously, the secretary of the Air Force selected three active duty operational locations and one Air National Guard location—Hill AFB, Utah, RAF Lakenheath, England, Eielson AFB, Alaska and Burlington AGS, Vermont.

    Additionally, the Air Force announced Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas as the preferred alternative for the first Air Force Reserve base.

USAF photo

Albertsons re-enters Boise gas station market with SE Boise store

After selling local gas and convenience stations to Stinker in 2011 - Albertsons-branded gas stations are beginning to return to the market.

The first from-the-ground up new Albertsons Express in the area is now open at ParkCenter Blvd. and Apple St. on the site of a former Pizza Hut. 

READ MORE
Old Pizza Hut to become Albertsons fuel center

The fuel center has a variety of modern features, including a walk-in beer cooler, digital soda fountain and more.  It also includes a drive-through around the back of the store where items can be purchased without leaving a vehicle.

The pumps are the first in the state to use EMV chips, according to Albertsons officials. 

Albertsons also acquired a gas station at its former Paul's Market location on Lake Hazel - and plans at least one more at a forthcoming store in Barber Valley.