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Mardi Gras ballroom site, others up for sale

Last fall, Lydia Merril of Boise died – at the age of 106. She passed away from complications related to COVID-19.

Now, three properties she owned are on the block.

Merril owned the Mardi Gras ballroom on 9th St. with her Orson husband for years — since 1958 according to a story last fall by the Idaho Press’ Tim Woodward. The couple also held a few other parcels in the area – including right across the street, and a few blocks away by the Boise Library.

The Mardi Gras held a farewell event earlier this spring – and has one more on the books for this month, but will soon stop rocking after nearly 100 years. The ballroom popped up in 1928 and has hosted a dizzying array of artists from R.E.M to Johnny Winter to Glenn Miller to, in recent years, celebrations for many of Boise’s Mexican, Bosnian and Afghan communities.

[Large portion of old Karcher Mall to become self-storage; New stores planned, too]

Boise firm TOK Commercial listed a call for offers on the trio of properties, looking for interested parties to come forth with proposed deals by later this month. The sites are in a Boise neighborhood that’s been seeing redevelopment in the last few years, including the new Afton condos and more.

Last fall, Lydia and Orson’s daughter Lana McCullough said interest in the sites over the years has been high.

“(Developers) have been interested in it for years,” McCullogh told Tim Woodward. “It would be great if someone bought it who wasn’t just in for the money, who wanted to keep it a ballroom. I’d be all for that. Money isn’t everything. I’m hoping for something that would be a legacy for Lydia and Orson.”

The call for offers flyer echoes part of McCullough’s sentiment.

“Located in the downtown of Idaho’s largest city, these three land parcels are highly sought after for development opportunities. This is a rare opportunity to purchase one, two, or all of the these (sic) land parcels in this bustling area of Boise, Idaho.”

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Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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