Local news. Locally owned.

Garden City just approved a big plan to remake 34th St. One of the developers already asked to cancel it

Paddles Up Poke


BoiseDev Project Tracker

  • 34th St. Specific Area Plan

Presented by TOK

On August 12th – the Garden City City Council adopted an extensive plan to remake 34th Street. The project, through a so-called ‘specific plan,’ would makeover nearly 40 parcels in the area.

But just ten days after the approval, one of the developers asked the city council to rescind the plan.

In a letter dated August 22nd, Richard M. Phillips asked Garden City Mayor John Evans to roll back the plan the city just approved. BoiseDev obtained the letter through a public records request with Garden City.

[Jaszewski: Why I’m moving to Garden City]

- Story continues below ads -
Regence Blue Shield of Idaho
Idaho Central Credit Union Business Banking

“Please accept this letter on behalf of Urban Willow LLC as a request for reconsideration of the City Council’s approval of the (34th Street plan),” the letter said. “Specifically, Urban Willow LLC requests that the 34th Street Area Plans be rescinded on the basis that the 34th Street Area Plans includes certain conditions that negatively affect the development potential and marketability of the subject parcels in the current economic environment.”

The letter also said that former Star Mayor Nate Mitchell is the “sole authorized agent” for Urban Willow, LLC. Urban Willow is the company formed by Phillips and Hannah Ball that applied for the specific area plan. The State of Idaho lists both Ball and Phillips as managers of the LLC.

In recent months, Ball has been a public face for the project, appearing in the Idaho Press, Idaho Statesman and KTVB.

Mitchell told BoiseDev that Phillips and Ball have a “disagreement,” but he wouldn’t comment any further.

Phillips did not respond to a message left at his business.

Partner ‘shocked’

Ball said she is “pretty shocked” about the letter.

“Ever since the letter was sent, communication was very muddled,” Ball said. “There has been no clear intent.”

Ball said the letter was delivered to Garden City officials an hour after she said she closed on the sale of a parcel. She said before the letter, Phillips supported the project.

“He’s been very positive of the application,” she said. “But he’s always been in this investor role. He’s never been to the meetings, he’s never really cared about anything. He’s been pretty neutral. Pretty open-minded.”

Before the letter, Ball said the partners communicate regularly.

“I don’t know if he’s unhappy with the returns or the entitlements or the partnership,” she said. “To this day I don’t have any specifics to what they would truly want to see.”

What is the plan?

The 75-page specific area plan is Garden City’s first. The SAP is similar to frameworks used for Boise’s Harris Ranch & Locale, as well as Avimor in Ada County.

For 34th Street, the plan outlines extensive live/work townhomes, mixed-use buildings, underground parking, parklets, plazas and other features. It would dictate how development could move forward on the 36 properties owned by Urban Willow, as well as on parcels owned by three other parties who agreed to join in.

“Our 34th Street Specific Area Plan is designed to be very interactive, each use and design is carefully selected to allow for a experience (sic) by just taking a walk,” the document notes.

The plan says it applies so-called ‘smart growth’ principles. The document touts a self-assessed score of 94 out of 100 on a worksheet from Idaho Smart Growth.

The Garden City City Council voted August 26th to hold off on consideration of the request to rescind the plan until October.

BoiseDev is the area's only locally-owned commercial news outlet. Your support will help us cover more stories and bring you more vital information. Become a member today!


Boise will now mandate facemasks in public, Meridian considering it

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said she would add Boise to the list of Idaho cities that will mandate face coverings in public.

McCall will require face masks in public: when it will take effect and details

The City of McCall is the latest Idaho government to mandate wearing face coverings in public. The McCall City...



Developers list land for big dreamed of Garden City project for sale

A Garden City developer rolled out big plans for a mostly-empty street in the city, with prime access to the Boise River....
SERVPRO of Boise


It’s Idaho’s birthday! Can you ace this quiz?

Today, Idaho celebrates 130 years of statehood. We love some Idaho trivia. So we went DEEP...

Boise will now mandate facemasks in public, Meridian considering it

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said she would add Boise to the list of Idaho cities that will mandate face coverings in public.

UPDATED: Boise State will cut baseball, swimming/diving. Plan for ballpark canceled

Boise State University announced on Thursday it will discontinue its baseball and swim and dive programs. “This is one...

Open and shut: Boise’s Apple store closing up shop, again

For a few days, the US only had a single Apple retail store - the one in Boise at Boise Towne Square.

Star News: More Shore Lodge workers test positive for COVID-19

By Tom Grote / The Star-News Republished by permission from the Star-News of McCall. Subscribe to the digital or print...

Can you do them all? Boise Trail Challenge provides safe competition during COVID

More than one thousand people in Boise are competing in the Boise Trail Challenge which honors the life of Boise trails advocate,...