Downtown jeweler to move, expand

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Portsche's Jewelry plans to move from its current spot on 9th St at Bannock St. to a new, larger location nearby.

According to filings, the local jeweler sales & repair shop will move to the former Chico's space on Idaho St. near The North Face.  

The new space will be nearly 3,000 square feet. Signage out front notes the new location will open after the holiday season in early 2018.

 

Find a new alibi: Jim's Alibi closed for now

Jim's Alibi on Broadway is closed, according to a tipster - with dumpsters out back.

The long-time Boise bar on Broadway Ave. across from Shopko has been slinging drinks for decades.

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The tavern's Facebook page says they are undergoing a remodel.

According to City of Boise public records, no building permit had been filed - but a complaint about the work was filed on September 11th.  Three days later, owners filed for a plumbing permit to remodel bathrooms in the bar.

Increased air traffic prompts new gate at BOI

Crews are working to install a new jet bridge at the Boise Airport.

The c-concourse of the airport has traditionally been used for ground-loading only via a pair of breezeways out on to the airport's tarmac - with many Alaska Airlines flights being loaded via stairs.

"With the overall increase in air service, there has been an increased demand for gate space with a jet bridge," airport marketing manager Sean Briggs said. 

Courtesy Boise Airport

Courtesy Boise Airport

Alaska has added a Boeing 737 one one of its flights each day from Boise to Seattle, in place of the traditional, smaller Bombardier aircraft it flies out of Boise. 

"This jet bridge will give the airport more flexibility when dealing with larger aircraft," Briggs said. "It will primarily be used for Alaska’s mainline service, however can be utilized by other airlines, large charter flights and diverted aircraft.

The new gate will serve as C-11, at the end of one of the current breezeways.

The $900,000 project is funded by the airport's capital fund - and should be complete in October.

CVS plans new pharmacy in Rx-saturated area

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National pharmacy chain CVS continues its push into the Treasure Valley with new stores in unexpected places.

The first is at Fairview and Cole, with part of a shopping center and former Zions Bank being torn down.  Next came a proposal for a location at Capitol & University on the site of a retail center this is barely a decade old.

Now, developers have notified the West Downtown neighborhood association of plans to build a location at 17th and State - a stone's throw from a Rite Aid location and Albertsons pharmacy.

 

As outlined to the neighborhood group, the State St. CVS would be built at 1625 W. State St. - the current location of a State Farm Insurance agency.  According to the letter, "Multiple buildings and associated drive and parking areas at the southeast corner of 17th & State Street will be demolished to allow for construction of this project if approved by the City of Boise."

The new CVS would be 13,111 square feet and include a drive-through - about the size of the other two planned Boise stores.

The neighborhood meeting will be held this Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Mariott TownePlace Suites on Capitol Blvd.

CCDC to consider new Shoreline renewal district near proposed stadium

The Capital City Development Corporation is moving forward with plans to form a fifth urban renewal district - which would include the land around a proposed Downtown Boise stadium project.

The new area would include portions of the current 30th Street district and River Myrtle Old Boise districts, as well as additional land. It would also, for the first time, move CCDC's urban renewal efforts south of the Boise River by including an area around Lusk St.

BoiseDev first reported the agency was looking at options for an additional urban renewal district in April.

An urban renewal district works by capping property tax collections to agencies like schools, police, fire and roads at the level they stand at the time the district is created.  Then, when and if urban renewal efforts and natural property value increase the tax collection amounts of the properties inside that district - the "extra" tax money is funneled to CCDC for a period of up to twenty years.

CCDC often secures bonds on the so-called "tax increment," allowing it to fund projects upfront and pay for them over the life of the district.

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The newly created area would include 128 parcels according to consultant SB Friedman - with about 100 buildings. It would total 191 acres, including 26 acres of the Boise River and 49 acres of road and other public property.

The consultant group studied the area and found that less than one in four buildings were deemed to be "deteriorating." It also said the road grid in the area was "defective or inadequate."

The report also says crime has been increasing in the proposed district - with  the crime rate increasing in each of the past five years.

CCDC officials tell BoiseDev the findings will next be presented to the City Council, which would consider creation of the new urban renewal district.

Stay tuned to BoiseDev for additional exclusive reporting on the stadium story this week.  

Developer plans 27-home project in N. End

A patch of mostly bare land in the North End near Hillside Jr. High could soon be home to 27 new homes, according to a notice sent to neighbors.

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The Forsythia Subdivision would be built at 3257 W. Hill Rd. near 33rd Street.  The 3.92 acre lot would feature lots for the new homes, plus three common areas. It currently has a pair of homes and several out buildings on it.

W. Lassen St. would be extended through the site.

A neighborhood meeting with RiverRidge Engineering is slated for 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the project site.

A formal application has not yet been filed with the City of Boise.

(This story came via a tip in the BoiseDev Facebook group - thanks Mike!)

Lights out, party's over: Powerhouse to get new purpose

The Powerhouse Event Center near the I-184 Connector will rock no more.

Over the past twenty years, the building has hosted hundreds of events with various owners - from concerts, to proms to award shows and more.

In March, the Idaho Statesman reported the last events promoter had been sued by more than 17 investors -- a lengthy tale that ended with the Powerhouse closed since early 2016.

Now, filings with the City of Boise show the Powerhouse will enter a new chapter: a real estate office building.

Courtesy Ada County Assesor

Courtesy Ada County Assesor

Windermere Real Estate has applied to convert the building from event space to "general business offices for a real estate office."  The existing main level and mezzanine would be kept, but occupancy would be decreased from 867 people to just 75. Windermere plans to spend about $100,000 to remodel the structure.

The building was constructed in 1912 according to Preservation Idaho, and used by Idaho Power and predecessor companies as a power operations building.

It was converted in 1999 and opened as the Powerhouse events center in 2000.

Boise Spectrum to swap hair-dressing schools

The Boise Spectrum will replace the TONI & GUY hairdressing school -- with another hairdressing school.

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Toni & Guy closed its Boise location after relocating to the Boise Spectrum.

In its place, Boise Barber College will open according to permit filings. BBC is currently located on Cole Rd. near Ustick and would move to the new location after a remodel.

Going up: Here's what's happening at 5th & Idaho

Courtesy Sawtooth at Skyscraperpage - aka Sean G.

Courtesy Sawtooth at Skyscraperpage - aka Sean G.

We've received quite a few questions about the construction happening at 5th Street and Idaho Street in Downtown Boise.

A former parking lot and mortuary are currently a hub of activity as construction crews work on a new structure.

So what's going up?

A five-story apartment and retail building is under construction - plus a small pocket park.

5th & Idaho LLC is behind the project - a group of developers that includes Clay Carley, Dean Pape, Tim Gibson and Peter Oliver.

Here's what they plan:

  • Eighty apartment units ranging in size from 542 square feet to 1,246 square feet. Six of the apartments will be walkup style - three along 5th St. and three along the alley near Ochos. Those six will have two levels, with a loft above the ground level.
  • A 3,040 square foot retail space for a tenant to be announced.
  • A rooftop deck overlooking the pocket park.
  • Parking for 73 cars.
  • An amenity room for residents on the top level.

The building should open next year.

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With update to Capital Terrace retail, what will happen to the garage?

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Last month, BoiseDev reported the retail portion of the dated-looking Capital Terrace building would get updated.

The building actually has two owners - with the retail areas under the ownership of Hawkins Co. - they are behind the main building update.  But the parking garage itself is owned by the Capital City Development Corporation.  That agency actually renamed the garage with its new naming scheme - it will soon be known as the Capitol & Main garage.

CCDC officials tell BoiseDev they may do some "affordable improvements" in 2018 or 2019.  That won't be a renovation or major revamp like is happening on the retail part of the building, but could include new paint and what they call minor affordable improvements.

Officials with CCDC say they are happy to see the upgrades from Hawkins Co., and also appreciate the former owners the Roper family for taking a chance on building the retail in the first place during the 1980s.

ALSO READ:
Capital Terrace to get modern update (finally)

 

Kount to 10th: Boise ecommerce co. to move downtown

Courtesy Sawtooth Development

Courtesy Sawtooth Development

Growing Boise fraud and risk management software startup Kount is set to move to a new headquarters downtown.

They will move into the 100-year-old Langroise Building - aka John Alden Building - aka 10th and Main.  The former home to John Alden Insurance has been vacant for some time, but Sawtooth Development is reworking the property after finishing up the attached One Nineteen condos project next door.

ALSO READ:
Coffee joint planned for long-vacant 10th and Main building

Kount counts 100 employees presently at its current building along the Boise River in the Lusk neighborhood,, but says that number will jump to 200 by the end of 2019.  They will take up more than 35,000 square feet in the building across several floors.

“From the proximity of the Boise State computer science program to the dynamic growth of food, entertainment and retail options in surrounding blocks – Downtown fits the culture of our company and supports and energizes our talented team which is at the core of Kount’s success,” Kount Vice President of Human Resources Kate Lenz said in a prepared statement.

As reported yesterday on BoiseDev, Sawtooth plans a total revamp of the building.

“Working with design partners CTA, Tenth and Main will showcase a contemporarily designed facade, floor to ceiling windows, an upgraded lobby, new elevator, and a potential 5th floor expansion," Sawtooth Development Group CEO Shane Felker said in a prepared statement.

 

 

Coffee joint planned for long-vacant downtown building

Via Neckar Coffee Instagram

Via Neckar Coffee Instagram

The 10th and Main building in Downtown Boise has been vacant for quite some time. Sawtooth Development bought the century-old building and an adjacent parking lot.  The lot became home to the One Nineteen condos - and now the original building is getting some attention.

Boise coffee roaster Neckar has applied to remodel a 1,664 square foot space along 10th street immediately north of the new condo project.  The coffee shop will have space for 45 folks - and about $70,000 will be spent on getting the space ready.

Neckar currently serves its wares at the smaller Boise farmers market. (Ironically, this is the second time this week that we've written about a coffee cart at the Boise parking lot market getting a brick and mortar space).

Downtown Boise has quite a number of places to get a cup of java or tea. During the State of Downtown Boise in May, it was noted that the city core had sixteen coffee shops.

 

The corner space on the 10th and Main building is being marketed for a potential "flagship restaurant" - which might include a rooftop bar. No announcement on that front just yet.

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The building, known recently as the John Alden Building - and earlier the Langroise Building - could get a full facadę revamp in the future if plans are completed. Design Review was approved by the City of Boise for a full revamp:

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Could Boise be prime for Amazon?

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Amazon announced this week that it plans to build a massive second headquarters - which could grow to be even larger than the booming corporate campus in Seattle. 

The Treasure Valley loves its identity of a corporate hub - including Albertsons and Micron, classics Boise Cascade and Ore-Ida and upstarts like T-Sheets. 

Amazon will be a huge get for some area - with 50,000 high-paying ($100,000 plus) jobs and billions in capital expenditures in coming years.  

But it won't be coming to Boise.  

Despite all the great attributes of SW Idaho, no area in the Treasure Valley actually meets the specifications Amazon put forth in its request for proposal. Namely: 

  • Not within 45 minutes of an international airport. BOI does not serve any non-domestic locations, and despite gains its flight selection is still pretty limited. 
  • No on-site mass transit.  
  • The Boise metro area hasn't hit 1-million residents yet, and won't for a while. The current population for the Boise MSA is about 676,000.  

No amount of creative incentives or recruiting efforts will overcome falling short of the RFP requirements.  

BoiseDev turns one: where we've been and what's next

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One year ago today, BoiseDev.com formally launched - an extension of a few years of quick tweets on local business openings, closings and other development news.

A friend had mentioned that she often opened Twitter solely to find my #BoiseDev tweets, but found it hard to find everything.  That inspired me to see if I could put something a little more complete together.  I also had been itching to do more long-form pieces; 140 characters are often not close to enough.

Since launch day, this site has featured more than 420 stories on everything from Starbucks to St. Luke's to stadiums to Streetcars. The work here has been cited by the Idaho Statesman, KBOI, KIVI, Magic Valley Times News, Meridian Press, Coeur d'Alene Press and others (for which I'm quite grateful). I've also cited the work of nearly all of these outlets in the past year as well.

You may have heard that I have been selected as a 2017-2018 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University - a program which coincidentally begins today.  For the next ten months I will be living in California (with some trips back to Boise) to focus on ideas to sustain local journalism in a consolidating (and shrinking) traditional media world.

BoiseDev will continue. I will be reporting from California - guided by public filings, sources, visits to town and of course your tips. You may also see the bylines of some other writers pop up in coming months.This site has been powered by so many great tips from readers - dozens of them.  So thank you! You can send me an email or ask in our lively BoiseDev Facebook group.  

We have signed our first sponsors - SERVPRO of Boise as well as Chase Erkins at Lee & Associates.  These great folks will appear throughout the site and the funds they provide will be reinvested back into the site to help us grow.

Fun with metrics

I love a good metric - studying audience behavior helps to make a better site more attuned to the wants of the audience.

Since May, BoiseDev.com has topped the traditional business newspaper in town in terms of traffic according to SimilarWeb. That's mostly attributable, I think, to a thirst for quick, newsy nuggets on the shops and stores folks see each day - and a thirst for deeper, independent stories on issues that are important.

Here are the most-read stories of the past year. 

  1. WinCo coming to Chinden and Linder, Costco possible - while Costco seems to be now focusing on another nearby site, the warehouse giant still hasn't made a formal application
  2. Today Show eclipses Idaho, skips our day out of the sun - the fun thing about trying to make a site that is lively and fun is you can go a bit off course on occasion. This story did great traffic numbers
  3. Bogus Basin master plan includes new lifts, coaster, more - this story came through public records and a tip. Each of the traditional media outlets published their own version of this story later that day.
  4. The Flicks has special sign with hidden secret - the Boise icon came up with a way cool sign with a unique twist.
  5. St. Luke's agrees to sell land for downtown stadium - while the deal still isn't final and a baseball stadium is still far from a done deal, this was a big step in making it happen.
  6. I wonder: Why are there so many mattress stores? - this story was actually written and published before BoiseDev formally launched. It continues to do great search engine traffic.
  7. Bown Tavern sued for eviction - the two sides ultimately worked it out, but for a moment things spilled over into court
  8. Albertsons to build new store in Boise's Barber Valley
  9. Boise to spend $3.5 million to steam ahead with streetcar plan - the latest in our series of watchdog reporting on the effort to move a trolley plan forward in Boise after more than a decade of attempts
  10. "T" for transit: Decision made on Boise streetcar; inside the push to make it a reality - this story won an Idaho Press Club award for best business reporting, and is one of the most in-depth pieces on the site to date

New coffee kid on the Blok

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A new coffee shop sprouted up in Meridian on Locust Grove near Fairview Ave.

Blok & Co. has opened near Fred Meyer with locally-brewed coffee and a selection of pastries.

Here's how owners describe the joint:

"(An) unpretentious, welcome-to-everyone, peaceful, hope-filled, fun-loving community. A place for groundbreaking conversation and culture-shaping ideas. "

Blok features local coffee from Form & Function - which you might recognize if you shop the smaller downtown market (the parking lot one).

Is Boise Ave. getting Mom's Diner or no?

Leasing flier

Leasing flier

On August 3rd, the Idaho Statesman wrote up a feature on the apparently-forthcoming Mom's Diner.  The owners said it would open soon, and in fact they wanted to be open by July.

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But, according to a leasing flier posted just eight days later, the space on Boise Ave. is for lease - and won't become home to Mom's.  The restaurant location at 1211 Boise. Ave. has seen a parade of restaurants in recent years - most recently the Franco's Pizza concept.

Extensive remodel work has stopped and a large for sale sign is now outside the building.

Mom's left a comment on its Facebook page to an inquiry saying "We are down but not out."

We've reached out for comment, we'll let you know what we hear.

The building is listed for sale at $439,000 - with lease options also available.

(Thanks, Ann for the tip!)

 

Another rooftop for Tin Roof Tacos

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Tin Roof Tacos plans to open a second location after successfully launching its first in SE Boise.

The locally-owned taco stand serves street style tacos from its store on Broadway Ave. near St. Luke's. 

The second location is set for the Northpointe Plaza at McMillan and Linder in Meridian, according to leasing agent Thornton Oliver Keller. 

Trek Bikes to open first Idaho store

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High-end bicycle manufacturer Trek plans its first store in Idaho.

The retailer has applied to remodel the former Archivers space on Milwaukee near Fairview. The $50,000 remodel will transform the 5,600 square foot retail space for Trek's use.

The typical store sells bikes, accessories, shoes and outerwear as well as performing service functions.

The company sells bikes of all types with many price points well over $5,000.

 

Roz & Ali are getting dressed up in the Barn

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Shoppers at the Dress Barn on Milwaukee St. in Boise will notice a new name for the store: Roz & Ali.  The women's retailer is replacing signage on the store according to permits filed with the City of Boise.

Roz & Ali is a Dress Barn brand, described as a workwear line for women. Or, in their marketing language:

Walk with confidence in our most refined pieces... because you're the boss at work and everywhere else.

The same thing is going on in Wichita, Kansas - according to the local paper in that area.

New Vector Church planned for Fairview

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The old Kmart on Fairview is filling up - with a new Christian church planned.  Vector Church plans to do a full build out on a portion of the old discount retailer, with more than $44,000 in improvements planned.

The facility will be complete with a coffee bar to caffeinate parishioners. 

Why Vector (Victor)?

We wanna create a positive impact that spreads both far and wide, and since "vector" means a quantity having direction as well as magnitude... well, WHY NOT?!

Learn more about Vector here.