Capitol Terrace building to get modern update (finally)

Boise's Capitol Terrace building was part of the first wave of Downtown Boise urban renewal, built in the 1980s to house both parking and retail.

The building is actually split, with two owners - the garage is owned by the Capital City Development Corporation, and the retail portions are owned by Hawkins Co. after a purchase earlier this year.

The retail building sits at the corner of 8th & Main - which has seen a renaissance in recent years with updates to the Grove Plaza, new Zions Bank building and Clearwater Building. With all the modern updates, Capitol Terrace stands out for its dated appearance.



After very little reinvestment by the prior owner, Hawkins is planning to make some updates to the poured-concrete structure. 

If approved by City of Boise's Design Review board, crews will update the building's facade with a new beige-grey and bright green color scheme.

The checkered black-and-white tile along storefronts will be given a black-brick texture.

Current green fabric canopies will be removed, and new cherry wood panels suspended from cables will help shade storefronts.

Hawkins also plans a new framing of the main entrance along 8th St. near the escalators.

"We are positioning ourself for future phases, which could include: Additional Parking, Office and/or Residential uses," according to permits filed with the City of Boise.  The developer owns the right to build on top of the current retail building along 8th Street.

For now, the portion of the building owned by CCDC would remain as is. We've reached out to officials with that agency to see what if anything they have planned.

New training facility to focus on basketball athletes


T3 Sport will open a training facility on State St. near Collister this summer.

Here's how the business describes itself:

T3 is an innovative training facility coming to the Treasure Valley that focuses on basketball. We will offer a unique synergy of elite training, cutting edge technology, and a culture of excellence, accountability, and encouragement. We believe when you combine elite sport training with a focus on translation to the game the result is a transformed player. Membership packages will be available with a variety of options, to help you build an experience that works best for you.


Dwellers Public House set for Boise Bench

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A new beer and wine bar is slated for Shops at Borah Heights on the Boise Bench.

Dwellers Public House will take over the space formerly occupied by Pub 208 at 6555 W. Overland Rd., according to filings. Pub 208 closed earlier this year.

The new bar will take over the same 2,400 square foot space as the old location without any remodeling.

Uber to launch 'Eats' app in Boise

Last week, grocery delivery service Instacart got revved up in Boise.

Now, Uber Eats is set to launch.

The food delivery offshoot of the ride-hailing app will go online Tuesday, August 22nd according to a news release from the company. Restaurants will set their own prices and Uber will add a $5.99 charge to the order.

Uber has had a bumpy year and is currently without a full-time CEO - but continues to expand as competition from Lyft and others increases.

Uber listed just three "notable" restaurants that will be available in Boise - Flatbread, Mai Thai and Parilla. A spokesperson cofirmed Fanci Freez, Gyro Shack, Barrelhouse and Bombay Grill would also be on the app.

To use the service, users will have to download the separate Uber Eats app for iOS or Android.

An Uber rep says the service will be available "downtown as well as Eagle, NorthEnd, Meridian, and parts of Southeast Boise."


I Wonder: What's up with Centennial license plates... 27 years later?

In 1990, the State of Idaho celebrated a big milestone: 100 years of statehood.  Parties were held. Songs were sung. The City of Boise marked a 43-hour celebration centered on the July 3rd, 1990 event.

Now, 27 years later - you might still spot an Idaho Centennial license plate - but only if you look closely.

In 1987, the State issued the specialty plate with its vibrant red, white and blue look to mark the occasion of the big birthday bash. It stood out from the simple green and white Idaho Famous Potato plate of the day -- and even won a "plate of the year" award from the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association.

At the time, funds from the plate went to the Idaho Centennial Commission for a variety of projects.

The plate was so popular it was co-opted for the standard Idaho plate. "Famous Potatoes" swaps in for "Centennial" and a blue tree is missing in the standard plate.

Today, you can still opt into the plate - paying an extra $25 up front and $15 per year, according to Reed Hollinshead with the Idaho Transportation Department.

Since the Centennial celebrations are a distant memory - where does the cash go? Idaho State Code was amended to put the cash toward your local highways instead. Hollinshead notes that 60% of the fee goes to ITD, with 40% going to your local highway district

There are about 5,216 vehicles statewide that still tout their Centennial pride all these decades later.

Roaring Springs dreams of future: indoor water park?

An indoor water park at Roaring Springs?

It's one of the ideas the water park's owners are considering, and they're asking for feedback on that and several other ideas.

Roaring Springs has steadily expanded over the past 20 years, with new slides, attractions, a purchase of the adjacent Boondocks Fun Center (later renamed Wahooz), indoor adventure park, bowling alley and more.

Now the attraction complex is looking for another big expansion, and is asking patrons for their opinion.

A survey asks a variety of questions centered around several expansion themes. From the survey:

Roaring Springs Waterpark is considering:

  1. Developing an indoor waterpark featuring rides and attractions open year-round with an attached hotel,
  2. Developing a standalone hotel and/or
  3. Expanding the event/party/meeting space at Wahooz.

As part of our research, Roaring Springs Waterpark is contacting local residents and previous visitors to Roaring Springs and Wahooz to gauge interest in these projects.

The water park and amusement center's owners, Bowden Inc., own several parcels of vacant land immediately to the east of Roaring Springs, as well as in the Southwest corner near Wahooz.

Sun Valley to revamp three restaurants

Bald Mountain Pizza in the Sun Valley Village closed for the final time Sunday, with the resort giving the space an extensive makeover.

BoiseDev first reported on the updates to the Sun Valley Inn building earlier this year - but resort officials have released a few additional details.

Bald Mountain will be revamped and renamed The Village Station when it reopens in December.  A menu of pizza, pasta and salads will be featured in the new restaurant, and it will retain its family-friendly vibe.

Renderings show a new patio space relocated around the corner from the current spot, with larger windows and a new corner entrance.

Next-door neighbor The Ram restaurant will be remodeled as well with an overhauled display kitchen serving as the centerpiece.

The Inn Lobby Lounge will be renamed The Ram Bar and will also be updated. The remodel there will featured "wooden floors, a new fireplace, new seating, and new big screen televisions."

Sun Valley Company spokesperson Kelli Lusk says they will expand operations at another village restaurant during renovations.

"The Konditorei will be open for dinner starting Monday, August 14 (right now, they are only open for breakfast, lunch, and Sunday brunch) until the Village Station opens this winter," she said.

The project will also bring updates to 25 guest rooms at the Sun Valley Inn, with the remaining 80 rooms seeing an overhaul in the fall of 2018.

Boise to spend $3.5 million to steam ahead on downtown rail plan

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UPDATE: A prior version of this story used different budget figures provided to BoiseDev by the City of Boise and confirmed on a CCDC document. Story updated with latest information.

The City of Boise and Capital City Development Corporation are preparing to put public money toward the vision for a fixed-rail streetcar in Downtown Boise.

During a Monday meeting, the CCDC proposed to spend $2.3 million during the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years - which would be partially matched by $1.2 million coming from the City of Boise's general fund - for a total of more than $3.5 million of public tax dollars.

The money would be used for engineering of the roughly 5-mile streetcar line - and is only the first step in a project that could cost well more than $100 million if built.

Despite mixed public feedback and a circulator committee that did not advocate specifically for rail, Boise City Council in April voted to move forward with the fixed-rail concept.

The City has a request for qualifications out for "professional services consultant... focusing on advancing the Downtown Boise Circulator project." Two firms responded and a final award has not yet been made, according to public records.

City of Boise Communications Director Mike Journee said the city is currently working to put together financing on the rail project - which could include federal dollars.

"We are in the pre-application phase," he said. "We are working with consultants and others to understand our financing and understanding and we can enter into a small starts grant program," he said.

Journee said that while the City Council advocated for fixed-rail, city staffers are also looking at potential ideas like autonomous vehicles. 

"(Staff are working to) Identify and evaluate areas of concern and potential challenges and monitor and explore emerging technologies," he said.

One member of the city's circulator steering committee and prominent Downtown Boise developer Clay Carley told BoiseDev earlier this summer he is not in favor of a rail-based solution - and would rally his peers to "vote against" any such effort. He instead advocated for an autonomous bus or similar solution.

In its RFQ, obtained by BoiseDev, the City is asking for firms to assist with:

  • Assisting the City in developing a local funding plan which include a local funding portfolio which may include local improvement districts, Tax increment financing, institutional partnerships and others opportunities
  • Identifying Federal grant opportunities with particular expertise in Federal Transit Administrations grants and TIGER expertise
  • Identifying and evaluating emerging technologies
  • Ridership estimates
  • Economic activity estimates
  • Developing construction cost estimates
  • Developing operation and maintenance estimates
  • Developing short term and long term schedules and plans

What's next?

For the City of Boise, Journee says the public feedback window has for now closed - and that the City Council has approved the rail plan. A process over one-to-two years will play out that includes the funding piece. 

The public has a chance to attend a public hearing for the Capital City Development Corporation on Tuesday August 29th at noon to weigh in on the budget outlay.  

Any final say on a fixed-rail streetcar ultimately lies with the Ada County Highway District, which controls the right-of-way for all streets in the county.  

Idaho's largest Starbucks opens

The new Starbucks in the Student Union Building will be Idaho's largest, according to a news release from the school.  The coffee and quick foods retailer officially opens its doors today, and will gobble up 2,200 square feet of space.

The SUB location will be the second on campus after a spot inside the Albertsons library. Hours for your caffeinated pleasure: 

Regular operating hours, beginning on move-in day Aug. 18, will be from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday–Friday and 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday–Sunday.

EARLIER - DEC. 4, 2016: Starbucks subs for Moxie at SUB

New Starbucks location coming to Boise State's SUB - ArbiterOnline screenshot

New Starbucks location coming to Boise State's SUB - ArbiterOnline screenshot

Moxie Java's presence in Boise continues to dwindle - with an outlet on campus at Boise State going the way of so many others.

Boise State and food vendor Aramark are reshuffling some of the space inside the Student Union Building, which will make way for a new Starbucks outlet - while the Moxie will close, according to The Arbiter.

This will be the second Starbucks location on campus - the other is inside Albertsons Library.

Garden City-based Moxie Java used to be the dominant coffee player in Boise - but has been reduced to just a handful of locations, and is now behind Starbucks, Dutch Bros. and Human Bean in number of total locations.  Another local Moxie also recently closed.

Timber + Love to give TLC to old Koppel's building


"Your family outfitter, so much to get at Koppel's Browseville"

1986 Koppel's ad from The Borah Senator.

1986 Koppel's ad from The Borah Senator.

That jingle for Koppel's Browseville is a distant memory - as is the original store at Whitewater Park Blvd. and Fairview Ave. in Boise.  Koppel's sold a mis-mash of clothing, home goods, gas masks... pretty much whatever -- in its its distinctive warehouse store. 

The building has fallen into disrepair since Koppel's moved to State Street in the late 1990s (and ultimately closed).  With the advent of the Broadway-Chinden Connector, which was completed 25 years ago last week - the business lost its steady stream of traffic and exposure, and was in a difficult to access location.

Now, according to filings, Thom Whitworth of the "Boise Boys" and Timber + Love has applied to revamp the building. The team's Facebook page indicates the building will be the new headquarters building.  The building permit shows the building will get new paint, some interior work and other updates to the 1952 structure.

Timber + Love saw notoriety recently with their HGTV pilot show "Boise Boys." The company does remodel and design work and showcased its talent on the :30 minute show.

The pair says their business goal "has been to bring stories of restoration to our city. We love to rebuild what is broken and refresh what is worn down."

(Thanks, Christie, for the tip in the BoiseDev Facebook group!)

Boise to get Maserati dealership

  • You want a Maserati? You better work bitch.
    • Britney Spears
  • Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street
    • Taylor Swift
  • But all you do is complain it ain't a Maserati.
    •  Tori Amos
  • He drove a Maserati, lived up in the hills
    • Journey
  • You got to pretend your face is a Maserati
    • Ted Nugent

So I guess they're cool?

Dennis Dillon plans to add a Maserati showroom to its existing dealership on Fairview Ave. near Mitchell St.

Maseratsi and Fiats will be shown in a building behind the Mazda/Kia dealership - in the former Isuzu Lincoln/Mercury dealership building that was formerly operated by Lithia.  The building will get a $478,000 makeover to accomodate the upscale brands.

A new entry-level Maserati Ghibli retails for around $75,000.  Britney's right.

New senior living complex planned in Barber Valley

Boise's Barber Valley will get another senior living facility if a plan by Brighton Corp. is approved by the City of Boise.

The Veranda at Barber Valley would be built on E. Barber Valley Drive near Marianne Williams Park. The 72,000 square foot complex would be split into two parts according to filings, including an assisted living area and memory care facility.

"The building has been pushed towards E. Barber Valley Dr., as the owner wanted to bring in some feeling of Bown Crossing to the development," Chris Borders of Babbock Design wrote in the application. 

This will be the area's second Veranda Senior Living - after a location under construction in Meridian. It will also be the second senior facility in Barber Valley - including the nearby Terraces of Boise

The project will now go through Boise's design review process for approval.


Life's a beach? Or half beach? City weighs options for Quinn's Pond

The City of Boise's Parks & Recreation department is considering plans for the future of Bernardine Quinn Riverside Park near the Boise River.

The park includes Quinn's Pond - and is just east of the newly opened Esther Simplot Park.

The city hopes folks will weigh in on concepts for the park - including "natural play features," site amenities and a trio of site design ideas.

Natural play feature ideas include logs to climb on, climbing rocks, stumps and more.

More than 35 site amenities are listed - ranging from pathways to bike racks to workout stations and fishing piers. (See them all here).

Three site design ideas are presented - one that would surround the pond with natural grasses and a picnic shelter, a second that would include some wetland/grasses space and some beach, and a third which would make nearly all of the park's shore a beach.

The public can send feedback to Wendy Larimore, project coordinator - or (208) 608-7636.



Sun Valley airport adds flights to Chicago

Fly Sun Valley Alliance Graphic

Fly Sun Valley Alliance Graphic

The Fly Sun Valley Alliance announced it is adding another direct flight to the mountain resort town: Chicago. 

The flights will begin this winter, putting the SUN airport near Hailey two hours away from Chicago. United Airlines will fly the route, opening up the airport to its seventh destination - including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Portland and Salt Lake City.

The Chicago route will be longest roundtrip into SUN - and opens up the tourist destination to United's hub in the city, adding dozens of east coast cities on a one-stop basis. It will operate on ten Saturdays this winter: December 23, December 30, January 6, February 17, February 24, March 3, March 10, March 17, March 24 and March 31.

Aerial view: See progress in Pioneer Crossing (Parcel B) project

Our friend Eric Turner at Shutter Sky Films shot this aerial video of the Gardner Co. Pioneer Crossing project in Downtown Boise.

The video shows the first three floors of the parking garage at 10th and Front St. poured. The garage will eventually be either four or five stories - depending on the outcome of a request with the City of Boise.

The future Hilton Garden Inn location at 11th and Front has about the first floor framed in. Eventually that hotel will feature 132 rooms over five floors.

Construction has not yet started on a planned Panera Bread or future six-story office building

Pendleton Woolen Mills to open Boise mall store

Portland-based Pendleton Wollen Mills plans to open a new store at Boise Towne Square.

The retailer will go into the former Go! Calendars/Books/Games/Toys space next to Sephora on the mall's lower level.

Pendleton is known for blankets and wool clothes - and opened its first store in the eponymous Pendleton, Oregon in 1896. The chain grew to more than 70 stores across the country.

Bonus fact, via Wikpedia; In 1960, a band formed as the Pendletones - named for the company's wool shirts. The group later changed its name to the Beach Boys.

Pendleton currently has an outlet store at the ghostly Boise Factory Outlets east of Boise.

Another day, another Sunrise (Cafe)

Sunrise Cafe is continuing its expansion across the Treasure Valley - adding a new location on Fairview Ave.

The breakfast and lunch diner is taking over the former Moon's Cafe location near Curtis Rd. The Fairview Moon's took over for Jerry's State Court Cafe and a variety of other breakfast-focused concepts over the years.

This will be the second new location this year - after a new eatery opened this winter on Overland.

The opening will mark Sunrise's fifth location overall and third in Boise.

Thanks, Traci, for the tip!

Boise officials to investigate F-35s on Utah trip, hope to hear the jets

F-35s lined up on the tarmac at Hill AFB near Ogden, Utah. USAF photo.

F-35s lined up on the tarmac at Hill AFB near Ogden, Utah. USAF photo.

Several officials with the City of Boise will travel to Utah next week - and some of them will take a sideline to Hill Air Force Base.

Mayor Dave Bieter, City Councilors Elanie Clegg and Lauren McLean will all be in town for an undisclosed economic development project. They will be joined by Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Amber Pence on a sidetrip to Hill.

"Since they will be in town, the mayor and two council members wanted to visit with officials at Hill AFB about their F-35 mission and possibly hear an F-35," City of Boise Communications Director Mike Journee said via e-mail.

The City of Boise has said it is not advocating for or against the F-35, only for a continued flying mission at Gowen Field.  The Air Force is currently evaluating retiring the A-10 mission - a portion of which is hosted at Gowen. The USAF is also evaluating Gowen as a potential site to host the F-35.  City officials note the large economic impact the base generates for the Boise economy.

 The moves have some neighbors on alert - as the F-35 jets have the potential to be significantly louder than the current A-10s.  An A-10 produces 99.9 decibels, while the F-35 can top out at 125 decibels.  More than 1,500 residents signed a recent petition encouraging the City of Boise to reconsider its action on the F-35.

For comparison, 100 decibels is about the sound level from a motorcyle in riding mode - while 125 decibels compares to that of a balloon popping (over a more sustained period).

Journee notes the economic development trip isn't related to the Hill activities.

For those travelling to Hill and the economic development meeting - taxpyayers will shell out about $2,460.  Three more official will attend just the economic meeting but not make the journey to Hill AFB. 

Up in the air: City of Boise installs new City Hall art piece (see time lapse)

Downtown Boise is getting a new high-profile art piece as part of the revamp of the plaza in front of City Hall.

"Cottonwoods" is designed to look like a grove of Cottonwood trees, with "silhouettes (that) will change profiles as people pass by and with the shifting of sunlight."

The metal structures are more than two stories tall, with seven in all. They will be lit at night by uplights embedded in the ground

The plaza revamp project is being funded by $3.8 million in taxpayer dollars - including $1.2 million from the Capital City Development Corporation and $2.6 million from the city's general fund. It should wrap up this fall.

The City of Boise's Department of Arts & History commissioned the piece.  

An interactive water feature is also being installed in place of the leaking fountain once featured on the plaza.