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Food trucks, event center and… cactuses? New center proposed for Boise Bench

If you love cactuses and are hoping to hold an event, you’re in luck.

On Tuesday, Boise City Council approved a new combination special event venue, food pavilion, and plant conservatory on the corner of Federal Way and Protest Road on the Depot Bench. The Old Doug’s Plaza project will be on the same lot as Wander Medicine, a medical clinic owned by Dr. William Brandenburg.

[New no-insurance health care clinic now open on Boise Bench]

Patrick McKeegan, Brandenburg’s architect, told City Council that the project came about because he wanted a way to use the corner lot with views of the foothills and downtown Boise for more than just his medical clinic. 

“Dr. Brandenburg has an extensive collection of cactus plants, but no place to put them,” McKeegan said. “That’s where the conservatory started is a place for him to show off his plants and use his educational facility. It’s evolved a little bit into an event center because everybody said ‘Gee how neat would it be to have a wedding here.’”

The 1.4-acre site will have a two-story pavilion where beer and wine can be served, public restrooms, covered bike parking, and spaces for food trucks to cater events. Brandenburg’s medical clinic will continue to operate as usual and the project will use the existing parking area.

Thumbs up from the neighbors

Old Doug's Plaza Boise
The site of the future plant conservatory and event center on Federal Way and Protest Avenue. Photo: Margaret Carmel/BoiseDev

McKeegan said he did outreach to nearby neighbors and got positive feedback. He said they designed the project so the plant conservatory will act as a buffer between the nearby residential homes and the event center. It is also on a bus line and near a multi-use path that runs along Federal Way, connecting the project to nearby apartments and other areas of the city.

City Council members praised the project for its creativity and outreach to neighbors, particularly since the Depot Bench Neighborhood Association supported the project.

“I really like this project,” City Council Member TJ Thomson said. “It looks wonderful and I like the fact that the neighborhood submitted a letter of support. It’s nice to see when a neighborhood association says something positive about a development and it says a lot about your project.”

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Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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