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Boise Farmers Market sets new location for outdoor season

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The Boise Farmers Market will leave its location in the Downtown Boise core for an area that once served as a field of stadium dreams.

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Starting on April 6th, the food and produce-driven market will relocate to the corner of Americana and Shoreline. That’s the parking lot of the building that you’ll remember as a St. Luke’s back office, HP offices or old Kmart store, depending on how long you’ve lived in the area.

“We’re super excited about it,” interim market manager Tamara Cameron told BoiseDev. “We’re excited to be part of a new neighborhood development and be the first one and break the ice in the neighborhood.”

The project is the first toe in the water for River Shore Development. The Rebholtz family formed it to manage the properties it purchased from St. Luke’s last year. Originally, Greenstone Properties hoped to buy up the land for a baseball and soccer stadium – but the deal came under intense pressure and Greenstone instead helped facilitate the transfer from St. Luke’s to River Shore.

Now, former City of Boise Planning Director Derick O’Neill and Boise native Megan Rebholtz have teamed up to redevelop the properties. The properties sit within a new urban renewal area that officials originally thought would contain the stadium project.

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“We really love this location,” Rebholtz said. “We love the connectivity of it in particular. When you think of the parks, the greenbelt, the connection of all the main roadways – it’s a prime location.”

Cameron said the market will set up on the northwest side of the building. Customers will find it Saturdays in its usual 9am-1pm timeslot. The new location gives them the ability to grow.

“We do a customer survey a couple of times a summer – every time we’ve done it, they’ve said their number one reason for not coming is parking,” Cameron said. “(The new location has) a big parking lot, people can park.”

She also said the 10th and Grove location had its limits. They have nearly 90 vendors at the peak and can’t accomdate many more.

“We want to do special events, classes and chef demos. In the old location, we just didn’t have the space.”

Boise Farmers Market started in 2013 after former market director Karen Ellis was fired from her role at the Capitol City Public Market that runs along 8th Street each week. A number of vendors in the food and ag space split off for the new effort. Now, both markets coexist, and even have a few vendors who appear at both locations. Cameron said she is serving as interim market manager after Ellis retired after the 2018 season.

Rebholtz is excited to have the Boise Farmers Market crew in the neighborhood.

“We think that activation of the neighborhood is an opportunity to get people involved, and do so in a way that celebrates food, diversity and innovation.”

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.

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