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Boise could team with Adler on large-scale industrial projects around Boise Airport. Neighbors express concern


Millions of square feet of industrial space could come to the Boise Airport over the course of the next decade. 

The City of Boise selected Adler Industrial to develop 153 acres of industrial land near the airport for a two-part industrial park, which could include up to 31 buildings. Documents obtained by BoiseDev under Idaho’s public records laws show Adler told the City of Boise when it bid on the project it could generate an additional $3.3 million in additional tax revenue once it is complete. This could bolster the Boise Airport’s revenue while it’s trying to fund an extensive list of capital improvements, like three new parking garages and an additional concourse. 

“We believe the development of the land will provide the city many benefits including meaningful economic growth and substantial job creation, which help create ‘Opportunity for Everyone,’ and multiple revenue streams that will help pay for the bonds for the airport’s expansion,” Adler Industrial owner Mike Adler wrote in a letter attached to his 40-page response to the city’s request for proposals to develop the land. 

Some neighbors who live in the Indian Lakes Subdivision in Southwest Boise, which surrounds the Indian Lakes Golf Club, say the project would put industrial development too close to their backyards and endanger the desert wildlife living there. 

The project is still in the due diligence phase and a master development agreement has not yet been signed, according to city officials. No prospective tenants have been identified. Adler Industrial has developed several similar projects in Southwestern Idaho. The firm purchased a large portfolio of land and industrial properties in 2019, in one of the largest real estate transactions in state history.

What is the proposal?

Map of two areas included in proposal. Via City of Boise

The 153-acres of land to the city tapped Adler to redevelop sits on two different sites. 

The first area consists of a scattered set of parcels mixed in with existing development northwest of the airport between Cole Rd., Victory Rd., and Interstate 84. Adler’s plans submitted to the city for this area include 23 buildings, with all but one smaller than 88,000 square feet due to the parcel size. 

“Adler Industrial intends to pursue a mix of warehousing and distribution tenants for the parcels included in Area 1,” Adler’s proposal documents to the city say. “The parcels’ location along the flight path of airplanes approaching the Boise Airport suggests that manufacturing uses in Area 1 would not be ideal.”

The first area in Adler Industrial’s proposal to develop an industrial park at the Boise Airport. Courtesy of Adler Industrial

The larger second, undeveloped area, is east of Umatilla Drive in the Indian Lakes Subdivision and south of Gowen Road. It will largely connect with the planned extension of Orchard Street to the sthiouth. A concept map of the area obtained by BoiseDev in a public record’s request shows nine larger buildings. 

This area will provide tenants the possibility for outdoor storage areas and additional trailer parking spots, two amenities Adler said is in short supply in the Treasure Valley. 

“In Area 2, Adler Industrial intends to pursue larger tenants that have either warehousing, distribution, or manufacturing uses, as these larger parcels are outside of the Boise Airport’s flight path,” Adler’s proposal said. “Additionally, the average size of the parcels in Area 2 (15-30 acres), will allow Adler to be flexible to tenant’s needs in its site layout.”

Neighbors ready to fight rezone 

This is not the sort of thing Aimee Russell expected to pop up in her backyard when she bought her house a few years ago. 

Russell, one of the nearly 100 neighbors who signed a petition to the City of Boise opposing a rezone of the land behind her home in Indian Lakes from open space to light industrial to make way for the project. She is a member of the newly formed Boise Open Space Alliance working to oppose rezoning the section of the project closest to their subdivision. 

“Some of the concerns we have with it is having industrial right adjacent to residential is not anything any resident would look forward to having behind them,” Russell told BoiseDev. “It’s an underserved part of the valley and we don’t have a lot of open space. It’s part of the (wildland-urban interface) and we have a lot of concern for fire danger and we really don’t have adequate fire support at this point anyway.”

The second area in Adler Industrial’s proposal to develop an industrial park at the Boise Airport. Indian Lakes is located just west of the map. Courtesy of Adler Industrial

When she bought her house, Russell said her real estate agent told her the land was designated as permanent open space because it was a buffer between residential homes and the airport. The parcel of land closest to Indian Lakes is currently zoned A2, which is for properties meant to be designated as “permanent open space” in the city’s zoning code. But, the area is marked industrial in on the city’s future land-use planning map, which guides future growth in the city.

The Boise Airport said it did not acquire the land using airport improvement program funds from the federal government. 

Mike Adler, owner of Adler Industrial, told BoiseDev there would be a buffer between the project and Indian Lakes. Because this portion of the park is above a canyon, separate from the rest of the area, it would likely be built out later. 

“In the area of airport land you’re talking about it would probably be built to suit (a specific company) and we certainly wouldn’t be planning anything on it anytime soon,” Adler said. “Everything else would be developed first.”

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
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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