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Boise inks deal with Amazon for air cargo facility with millions in infrastructure improvements

Amazon is coming to both your doorstep and the Boise Airport.

On Tuesday, Boise City Council unanimously approved an agreement to lease 150,000 square feet of land near the Boise Airport to Amazon to build a 30,000 square foot air cargo facility. The site is located just west of the existing SkyWest Hangar on the southeast end of the airfield north of Gowen Road.

[Injuries at Amazon: Eight times more workers hurt at Amazon facilities nationwide than Idaho’s average]

As part of the deal, Amazon will pay the airport roughly $60,000 in rent per year, plus additional fees for flying in and out. The airport will also use $22 million of its own funds, which come from its own revenue, to build an access road, taxiway and ramp to connect the cargo facility to the airfield. If the airport can lease out a piece of industrial land to the south to another customer, the project will become eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Aviation Administration.

A map of the future Amazon site. Courtesy of Boise Airport

The key to unlocking more land, third runway

City Council Members and Mayor Lauren McLean lauded Airport Director Rebecca Hupp and her work on using airport land for economic development at Tuesday’s meeting. City Council President Elaine Clegg said this project is important because it will pave the way for the airport to build a bridge for airplanes and cargo trucks to cross Gowen Road and unlock acres more of developable land.

South of Gowen Road near the site of the Amazon facility is an air assault strip, which has been discussed as the site of a third runway for decades.

“There’s some misunderstanding that access is only going to serve Amazon and it’s not,” Clegg said. “It’s an investment that will serve not just Amazon, but other users at that end of the airport and ultimately the taxiway bridge south of Gowen Road. This is the kind of investment we need in the long-term future of the airport, and yes it does serve the one user today, but in the long run it serves much more than that.”

Airport Marketing and Communications Manager Shawna Samuelson said it is typical to build infrastructure to support tenants in leases like this. The city had a similar arrangement when the SkyWest Hangar was built in 2014. The airport spent $4.1 million building a taxiline to connect the hanger to the rest of the airfield. When the airport leased the land to another tenant to the east, the majority of the costs were reimbursed by the FAA, Samuelson said. 

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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 margaret@boisedev.com or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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