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Boise City Council approves rezone, annexation for $15 billion Micron expansion

Micron cleared its latest hurdle toward a record-breaking expansion in the Treasure Valley this week. 

On Tuesday night, Boise City Council unanimously approved a request to rezone and annex 358 acres east of the Micron campus on Federal Way to make way for the company’s new fab. The expansion, part of the company’s effort to bring its manufacturing operation back to the United States from Asia through the CHIPs and Science Act, is estimated to bring 2,000 new jobs to Micron and hundreds of others to support the operation. 

Beth Elroy, a top Micron official, told Boise City Council before the vote that concrete is expected to be poured next spring and manufacturing on-site to start by 2025. She said the company had a tight deadline it needed Boise to meet in order to get the building approvals completed, which is why the project has moved so rapidly through the approval process that normally takes months for a project of this size.

Planning and Development Director Tim Keane said Micron’s expansion will be interwoven with discussions of the ongoing zoning rewrite, which will completely reboot all of the rules on what types of development can go where in the city.

“These are not separate conversations,” he said. “The city must get appropriately more accommodating of more housing, which means we have to have a zoning ordinance that provides a greater mix of housing types and ensures we have density in the right places, number one. Number two, we have to be very protective of our natural resources and have a development pattern that is less water and energy consumptive.”

What will the project entail?

The expansion will include a network of several interconnected buildings to support chip fabrication.

The main part of the plant will be the fab with 600,000 square feet of clean room space to do the bulk of the manufacturing process for the semiconductors. Surrounding it will also be an expanded central utility building to support the plant, an administration building with room for 2,000 employees, parking spaces for roughly 3,000 cars, a gym and cafeteria. The project will also have an additional “probe” building with clean room space to test the completed semiconductor wafers after they are manufactured and a building connecting the facility to the main campus and it’s research and development area.

It will also include a new water treatment facility and a gas plant to create gases like nitrogen and oxygen for manufacturing purposes, along with a smaller manufacturing facility with a clean room to build equipment needed to manufacture the chips.

Elroy said this project will be powered using 100% renewable energy and the fab will be designed with water recycling and reduction in mind to help the company meet its sustainability goals. The company is aiming to be completely carbon neutral by 2050.

A traffic study conducted on the project found it will generate an additional 6,147 trips per day and will require upgrades to two different intersections to accommodate the traffic, according to the Ada County Highway District. This includes the intersection of Memory Road and Federal Way, Gate B and Federal way and possible upgrades in the future to the intersection of Federal Way and Amity Road as well as Federal Way and Bergeson Street.

City leadership looking to the future

Mayor Lauren McLean commended Micron for its work on making the fab expansion sustainable and helping to boost the city’s own environmental sustainability goals, which will include a water recycling program in southeast Boise near the plant.

“The climate action work Micron is doing is the partner we want to see in this city,” she said. “We are very thankful that you’re meeting your clean energy goals because it helps us meet ours as well as everything else you’re doing.”

A site plan of Micron’s fab expansion with new buildings in yellow. Photo courtesy of Micron Technology

City Council Member Jimmy Hallyburton reflected on an event earlier in the day where he and other city officials took questions from third graders. One of the questions was about what he wished he had more time to spend doing.

“In one form or another we all answered is more time to think about the future and spend time hanging out with these kids and thinking about the Boise we want to see for them,” he said. “It’s these high paying jobs (at Micron), it’s these neighborhoods that when this is being developed we’ll be looking at around (the expansion) and at the same time we’re getting this incredible place for people to work.”

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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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