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New downtown building would feature stackable car parking system

Future of Downtown

The Idaho Wheat Commission will consider tearing down its current building in Downtown Boise and build a new one in its place, according to an application.

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The current building, which sits just a few blocks from the Idaho Capitol, went up in 1945 and includes 7,500 square feet of space. The new building would reconfigure the lot with a much larger 27,300 square foot building on three stories.

Despite the application, the commission says it is in the ‘evaluation phase’ on what to do with the property. A board meeting later this month will feature discussion of the project.

Car stacking system

Perhaps the most unique feature of the project is an integrated car stacking system.

“Parking in this area is at a premium,” Larson Architects wrote in an application letter. “To meet the parking requirements, we have shown enclosed parking using both surface spaces and an automatic stacking system. The stacking system is three stories with one being below grade.”

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Future of Downtown

The system, designed by WÖHR, allows drivers to pull into a space, and exit the car. The system then moves the car vertically or horizontally on platforms, allowing more vehicles to share a tighter space.

For the commission’s building, nine traditional spaces will sit across from 32 spaces in the WÖHR system for a total of 41. City of Boise requirements call for 19 vehicle spaces on the site. All of the parking would be contained within the building structure. The city also requires two bicycle spaces, and designers propose four.

Parking would share the ground floor with a lobby and 2,935 square foot leasable space along 9th Street. The second and third floors would feature large office spaces. A rooftop deck would share the third story.

[Growing valley, growing roads: $767 million earmarked for 143 road projects: what’s up near you]

New for Idaho Wheat Commission, more

The Wheat Commission is a “quasi-governmental agency,” and the project is under the direction of the Division of Public Work. The Wheat Commission generates its own funding. It would share the building with several other agencies. Currently, the building hosts the Idaho Barley Commission, Idaho Grain Producers Association, Idaho Bean Commission, Idaho Wine Commission, Milk Producers of Idaho and Idaho Council on Industry and the Environment.

The existing Idaho Wheat Commission building at 9th and State in Boise. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

“We are aware of the significance of this building in regards to its location to the State of Idaho campus and a link to downtown Boise at the corner of two major streets,” Larson reps wrote. “We are presenting a nicely designed building with quality materials.”

The project will go through the City of Boise’s design review process. No hearing date currently set by City planners.

Updated: Adds characterization of board meeting later this month.

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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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