As the city pushes a stadium vision, St. Luke's looks elsewhere

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Leaders with the City of Boise are out pushing the idea of a stadium near the Boise River on land currently owned by St. Luke's Health System on Americana Blvd. 

In recent weeks, BoiseDev continued to dig into this story.  After our initial interest, records requests and post on the story, officials quickly went to the Idaho Statesman and on the radio with a version of what they hope will happen.

Boise city councilor Scot Ludwig told the Statesman the parties involved had an "agreement in principle" with St. Luke's Health System to purchase the property. But that agreement is not binding. 

BoiseDev has learned additional details about one of the other possible property buyers: the State of Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Administration issued a request for proposal last year looking for 100,000-600,000 square feet of office space to lease or purchase, according to Statewide Leasing Manager Linda Miller. Proposals were due in December.

Diane Blume with the Department of Administration confirms St. Luke's was one of the respondents to the RFP - specifying the Americana Blvd. parcel as a suitable option. Blume said the state is "looking at" the property.

St. Luke's Health System Public Relations Manager Anita Kissée confirmed officials with her organization submitted a proposal to the State, but can't confirm further details as the bid process is ongoing.

For the City, CCDC and Greenstone Partners (owner of the Boise Hawks), that "deal in principle" doesn't have any binding effect - and St. Luke's could have other bidders for the land beyond the stadium group and State of Idaho. 

"Hopefully a contract will follow as this land transaction is critical to this project," Ludwig told BoiseDev. "I look forward to moving this matter forward."

Ludwig said any details on the land sale would be between the two parties - Greenstone and St. Luke's, neither of which are commenting on particulars.

Ludwig, the city councilor and member of CCDC, told KTIK radio during an interview a "benevolent St. Luke's" would be key to the deal.  

A public records request to better understand details on the City of Boise's involvement in the project was denied on grounds they are part of helping a business expand in Idaho, which city officials contend is allowed for in state code.

Ludwig declined to answer BoiseDev's question by email about whether the story was pushed forward before a land deal was in place to "build support and/or foil any other interest in the property," saying only "let's hope the land deal gets done so we can move forward to the more difficult checklist on this Project."

For St. Lukes' part, officials are playing the field -- but that doesn't mean it will lead to a ball field.

"At this point, it's premature to comment further, as there is no signed, formal agreement with anyone," Kisssée said. "We look forward to continued engagement and negotiations, and are excited at the prospects and opportunities this property will provide as it meets the needs of the future owner, whomever that ends up being."

Don Day

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