Locally owned. Supported by members.

Boise eyesore could get new life: where old ‘tank farm’ could go

The Sundance Company
When you think of Boise icons – the Depot, Statehouse and Blue Turf probably come to mind.

One thing that is iconic – if not in a good way – is the oil and gas tank farm on the Boise bench.

BoiseDev Project Tracker

  • CCDC Bench urban renewal district

    Click here for details, information & past stories

It’s not exactly a shining point of civic pride, and city leaders are eyeing the idea of moving the hub for oil and gas in the Treasure Valley out of the heart of the bench to land near the Boise Airport.

 BOISE BENCH TANK FARMS VIA FLICKR USER  LAURA GILMOR
BOISE BENCH TANK FARMS VIA FLICKR USER LAURA GILMOR

“The industrial use of tank farms is no longer compatible with this neighborhood in the geographic center of the city,” Boise City Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg told BoiseDev. “The residences and small businesses are impacted by the tanks, but also importantly the tank operations themselves have difficulty moving fuel and support vehicles through the neighborhood.”

Clegg says finding a new spot for the tanks makes sense.

- Story continues below ads -
Future of Downtown
IBL Events

“The city is doing due diligence on a number of fronts especially regarding financial viability,” she said.

More than 40 tanks are spread across the area, along with related facilities. Fuel is pumped via pipeline from Salt Lake City and distributed via trucks to gas stations throughout the greater Boise region.

A new urban renewal district could be created to include the site and surrounding area – analysis of that idea is also underway.  This year, the City of Boise is looking at both relocation and how the sites could be revamped when – and if – the tanks are demolished.

“This area of the bench has long been mentioned, for 20 years or so in my memory, as a location for a new URA district,” Clegg said. “If this project were to go forward it would only make sense to include it in any bench URA district.”

CCDC Executive Director John Brunelle said there has not been any movement at his agency for a new urban renewal district just yet. A draft of the proposed area from 2016 was obtained by BoiseDev, and includes the tank farm areas.

Boise Airport director Rebecca Hupp said it’s still in the early stages of using airport land to relocate the tanks.

“The project is currently in a preliminary due diligence phase to determine if a relocation is even remotely viable,” she said. 

Hupp said the airport owns about 5,000 acres in total.

“There is sufficient and compatible land available to accommodate the proposed purpose, but no specific sites have been selected.”

There are actually three separate tank farms in the area:

  • A facility at 321 N. Curtis Rd. 18.6 acres, owned by Sinclair Transportation Company and valued at $2.963 million according to the Ada County Assessor. 
  • An 8.91 acre swath of land at 712 N. Curtis Rd. at the corner of Emerald St, also owned by Sinclair, which is said to be worth $2.1 million.
  • A bundle of parcels at 201 N. Phillipi St. totaling 15 acres owned by Tesoro, valued at $1.7 million dollars.

The farms have been part of the Bench area since the 1950s and are the dominant feature of Curtis Rd. between Franklin and Emerald, with some limited light industrial and office uses nearby.  The former West Jr. High site is being redeveloped into a multi-use project by Hawkins Development Co across the street, which could serve as an initial development catalyst.

The idea has been percolating for most of Boise Mayor Dave Bieter’s tenure as mayor. A resident approached Bieter with the idea in 2006 according to a Boise Weekly story at the time.

Love our stories? Get them delivered straight to your inbox each afternoon. Plus, support BoiseDev's independent journalism.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

City of Boise launches new team focused on climate change

Boise’s Public Works Department has a new division.  On Tuesday, Public Works Director Steve Burgos announced to City Council...

Boise looks to pathways along canals for new transportation options

Fifty years ago, the City of Boise started building the Greenbelt. Now, it is looking ahead to a new network of pathways...

After delay, nonstop flights Boise to Atlanta will take off soon

Travelers headed east will get a long-awaited nonstop flight in 2020 as planned, despite COVID-19's impact to the airline industry.

Owners apply to tear down Boise Bench office building

A 1960s office building on the Boise Bench with a unique look could soon disappear. The Clint-Graham Center at...

Popular

Boise’s Clearview Cleaning sold to larger cleaning company

Boise's Clearview Cleaning has a new owner. Kellermeyer Bergensons Services bought out the Garden City-based cleaning company earlier this...

New WinCo development in N. Meridian changes names, reworks some project elements

We told you earlier this month that the Linder Village project in North Meridian would finally start to move forward. Now,...

Poke, burritos, gems, toys and more: new stores slated for Village at Meridian

Several new stores and restaurants will open soon at the Village at Meridian. Paddles Up Poké owner Dan Landucci...

Local home prices are rising fast. Median income is not

The gap between median home prices in Ada County and median income has widened to a gulf over the past decade. 

Costco sets opening date for new Meridian store

The Treasure Valley will soon include three Costco Wholesale stores. Costco Meridian has an opening date. Just in time...

Idaho u-pick flower farm blossoms during pandemic

It's only the second season at Lovely Hollow Farm, and it's been a wild one. In 2019, flower...

Related

Boise’s mayor outlines priorities on future use of urban renewal

In a February letter obtained by BoiseDev in a public records request, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean outlined her approach to two proposed...

With new mayor, Boise urban renewal agency to hold off on leadership decision; changes possible

Usually, Boise's urban renewal agency, the Capital City Development Corp. holds leadership elections each January. Not this year.

Could Boise tank farm transform to mixed-use neighborhood? City, Ahlquist, fuel consultant look at ideas

Right in the middle of the Boise Bench sits dozens of large fuel storage tanks. Spread out over three blocks and...

Brady: CCDC, ACHD fight a symptom of frustration over management of area’s growth

GUEST OPINION The dispute which broke into the open earlier this month between the Ada County Highway District,...
SERVPRO Certified

Latest

Idaho u-pick flower farm blossoms during pandemic

It's only the second season at Lovely Hollow Farm, and it's been a wild one. In 2019, flower...

Local home prices are rising fast. Median income is not

The gap between median home prices in Ada County and median income has widened to a gulf over the past decade. 

Poke, burritos, gems, toys and more: new stores slated for Village at Meridian

Several new stores and restaurants will open soon at the Village at Meridian. Paddles Up Poké owner Dan Landucci...

New project in Wood River Valley to increase affordable housing options

Officials and developers broke ground on a new project aimed at helping people find affordable homes in Hailey. 

Boise’s Clearview Cleaning sold to larger cleaning company

Boise's Clearview Cleaning has a new owner. Kellermeyer Bergensons Services bought out the Garden City-based cleaning company earlier this...

McLean encourages Boiseans during COVID-19 pandemic in first State of the City speech

Instead of taking the stage in front of a crowd at Boise State University for her first State of the City speech,...