Aerial view of BVA's Ten Mile Crossing development. Via BVADev.com

Prominent Boise valley developer Tommy Ahlquist is unveiling a round of projects and ventures for his new firm Ball Ventures Ahlquist today on BoiseDev.

Many of the projects in the newly combined BVA/Brighton Corp. pipeline put a focus on amenities – including parking.

Ahlquist points to the new Paylocity Building at 10 Mile Crossing.

“It’s set up for business, with open floorplates, a very flexible layout and lots of glass. You come out here and there’s a lot to like when everyone lives out here and it’s easy to get around and surface parking is included.”

He said parking is often the first and last conversation when it comes to developing projects. He says it’s a fact of life in the Boise metro area as it stands today – and will be for the near future.

“(Downtown) there are extra costs for parking – an extra $3.5 per square foot. Most companies are rate sensitive. We want to have the option to help them downtown, or elsewhere… we want to help them find Class A space.”

In the short-term, he says Boise’s transportation options are limited.

“Public transportation is simply not even close to an option for people right now, so yeah, we think about cars. People want to live here and want to work here, but the transportation infrastructure is woefully inadequate. We have to figure out cars and parking for the immediate future.”

Longer term, the area has good “bones,” in his view – with the rail line along Interstate 84 and other advantages. But funding remains a challenge.

ALSO READ: From 2017 – An idea on transit for 2040

Boise mayor Dave Bieter floated the idea earlier this month of a ballot initiative to allow individual areas around Idaho to raise their own taxes to fund projects like transportation.

Ahlquist said for that to work, it has to be as much about the rural areas as the urban ones.

“(We should) leave it up to local jurisdictions to make choices – make sure the voters have a say. I worry a lot if it’s a big battle of Boise, and I’m afraid that’s the way it’s going to come across. I think more options for voters and jurisdictions is good, whether it’s public transit or buildings or anything else.”

Many companies looking to relocate to the valley are focused on the environment their employees will find when the arrive at work in Ahlquist’s view – and that’s a big focus for future projects.

“The name of the game is the recruitment and retention of employees,” he said. “Employers are trying to do things to help corporate culture and (their office space) is the glue that the culture holds it together.”

Amenities in future projects will be on-site food, fitness centers and more, something evident in the Zions Bank and City Center Plaza projects that Ahlquist helped spearhead at Gardner Co.

ALSO READ: With new firm, Ahlquist unveils big partnership, hospital development (not named ‘Saint’) & more

4 COMMENTS

  1. “(We should) leave it up to local jurisdictions to make choices – make sure the voters have a say.”

    Have a say in what exactly? How they’re going to get ripped off by developers like Tommy A.? If our mayors, city council, and county commissioners would take the developer’s d**ks out of their mouths for a minute, maybe transportation wouldn’t be such a clusterf**k.

  2. if we persist in just “figuring out cars and parking for the immediate future” without a complementary and parallel effort on public transit, we’ll never work our way out of this transportation dilemma. We could break this logjam by Mr. Ahlquist and a dozen other commercial developers and corporate heavyweights going to the next Idaho Legislature and demanding relief, along fhe lines that Mayor Bieter has suggested, which is to allow municipalities in Idaho the freedom to experiment with solutions to local transit needs. If that means a tax levy to finance truly adequate transportation systems in a rapidly-developing city like Boise, the city should have the freedom to propose such solutions and the voters should have the freedom to vote it them up or down. Currently, they don’t, because the Idaho Legislature doesn’t permit such local freedom.

    • Never trust a land developer. They want the public to subsidize their projects for personal gain. That is what this tax proposal is all about. Screw Tommy A. and all the other scummy developers along with Bieter and Co.

  3. Boise has all the power it needs to experiment with public transportation. Bieter just wants to do things that will never be paid for without taxing the whole region. That’s why he needs the power to tax more than property within the city. He’s already maxed out those of us in the city limits with 5 times Eagle’s rates. Maybe if Boise didn’t pay proposers before award like in the illegal library contract, we’d have money for other things.

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