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CCDC and Ada County considering redevelopment of Front Street parking lot

A parking lot next to the Ada County Courthouse could soon have a new life.

Boise’s urban renewal agency Capital City Development Corporation and Ada County approved a letter of intent this month signaling the possibility of the sale of the 2.1 acre parking lot for redevelopment. The parcel, located at 221 3rd Street, currently serves as a parking lot supporting county services. 

[CCDC hears proposals for income-restricted housing in west downtown]

The letter of intent allows 90 days for CCDC and the county to discuss the potential sale. The purchase is not guaranteed to go through and requires both the CCDC board and the Ada County Commissioners vote of approve.

More ‘energy’ for Front Street

CCDC spokeswoman Jordyn Neerdaels said there is no set plan for what the agency would like to do with the property, but they envision it being a mixed-use project. If it acquires it, they plan to put out an RFP for private developers to develop the project through a public-private partnership. 

“There’s all of this great energy along the Basque Block and along the previous Central District, but once you get to that corner of downtown that energy disappears,” Neerdaels said. “So the intent is to catalyze development and bring some of that connectedness and energy to that part of downtown.”

[CCDC plans nearly $11-million overhaul of downtown corridors; Basque block extension, pedestrian path and more possible]

The letter of intent says Ada County will get the right of first refusal for reserving up to 400 parking spaces in any parking garage developed on the site by CCDC. Neerdaels said “a key issue” in developing the property CCDC will have to keep in mind the parking needs for the Ada County Courthouse. 

A large new parking garage partially serving the county is under construction across Front St. as part of the River Caddis mixed-use project.

At the January 5 open business meeting for Ada County, Commissioner Kendra Kenyon said it’s a good time to look at the possibilities for the lot.

“This parcel has been on the table for quite some time and it’s never really gone anywhere,” she said. “We feel like the timing right now and the limited use of this parcel and the interest by CCDC and their timing, it’s worthwhile entering into this letter of intent.”

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at margaret@boisedev.com or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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