As BoiseDev first reported last week, the Greater Boise Auditorium Board got its first formal dialogue with a stadium development representative.
Wardle made a short presentation that didn’t provide much in the way of additional information. He asked the board to let his firm, Greenstone Properties and the center’s staff and counsel begin discussions on the potential project.
“We would like to request direction from the board to your staff and counsel to begin those discussions, so we can come back to you with a more detailed plan and ultimately a proposal if that’s the direction we reach with the board and the Boise Sports Park.”
The board agreed to begin those discussions. In response to a question, Wardle noted the stadium developers also were also talking to the Capital City Development Corporation, which was known.
“We obviously have been having a discussion at the staff and counsel level with various agencies,” Wardle said. “Any development in the West End will necessitate discussion with CCDC.”
Wardle stayed in the room for an executive session called under the provision of acquiring an interest in real estate property. The rest of the crowd and media were required to leave.
Wardle said Greenstone has rights to land in the area.
“We have been in discussion with and have secured rights to property in the west end,” he said. “An area that many of us recognize is a blighted and underused portion of Boise.
The auditorium district board meetings are usually a quiet affair. But for this meeting, members of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, Concerned Boise Taxpayers, the Capital City Development Corporation and at least one Boise City Council candidate.
Auditorium District’s cash pile
The auditorium district has $16.63 million in cash to invest. This does not include another $6 million it holds in a stabilization fund. Executive director Pat Rice describes the additional $6 million as the district’s “rainy day fund.”
This year alone, the auditorium district has added $1 million so far to its coffers from room tax collections.
“Tax revenues for 2019 continue to break records,” Rice said. The district is primarily funded from a 5% room tax charge added for guests staying at hotels within its boundary. It does not collect property or sales tax revenues.
Several members of the district board met with Boise Mayor Dave Bieter in recent months according to calendars obtained by BoiseDev. Bieter has been significantly involved with shepherding the project since at least 2016.
Where the Boise Sports Park stands
- As of today, Greenstone Properties owns a single piece of property in Boise – the site of the current Symposion Bar. Several landowners in the area tell BoiseDev Schoen approached them about acquiring property. According to property records, no other parcels in the area have changed hands.
- Renderings for the project show it on a site currently owned in part by Los Angeles-based developer Local Construct and the City of Boise.
- The stadium project could potentially be subject to the outcome of a petition that will appear on the November ballot that would allow voters to decide if stadium projects would be subject to voter approval.
- City of Boise officials stress no deal is in place and no formal proposal is on the table. This spring, Greenstone Properties and the City of Boise held negotiations on city participation in the project.
- Boise State University is moving forward with a baseball-only facility on land near its campus on Beacon St.
How are public dollars involved in a Boise stadium project?
Though there is currently no proposal on the table for a new stadium, in Downtown Boise, a previous version of the project planned for Shoreline and Americana had public dollars earmarked.
The City of Boise budgeted $3 million in tax dollars for the project. It also said it “expected” $5 million in contributions via the Greater Boise Auditorium District. That entity collects taxes through its levy on hotel room rates. GBAD said repeatedly it has not been approached to use its funds, however, in recent weeks members of the board have met with Mayor Dave Bieter.
The new stadium is expected to be located within an urban renewal district from the Capital City Development Corp. – though how that agency may or may not be involved is not clear. CCDC takes in property tax dollars earned in its urban renewal areas via “tax increment financing.:”