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Just released: Plan B for Parcel B
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(I owe you a full edition of BoiseDev - side project taking a backseat to center projects presently :) You can see all my recent BoiseDev items at BoiseDev.com and get caught up (there's a lot going on!)

Plan B for Parcel B

Gardner Co. has filed plans with the City of Boise for its new plan for Parcel B. Trouble getting a garage deal put together and (I surmise) the rise of three other hotel projects downtown helped scuttle that idea.

Instead, Gardner is taking a mixed-use approach. Here's what the new $50-million plan calls for: 

  • A six-story office building on the southwest corner. This would include 145,000 square feet of office space. Gardner cites continued strong demand for downtown office - despite its new City Center Plaza project coming online, and the pending move of Simplot from the One Capital Center to its new building next to JUMP
  • A four-story parking garage with 600 spaces on the northeast corner. The plan would wrap about 10,000 square feet of retail and office space around the first floor of the garage, facing 11th St. and the Simplot building. This opens up potential for retail and restaurants to serve the Simplot workforce
  • A separate 5,000 square foot retail building with outside patio seating. This appears primed for a sit-down restaurant
  • Future expansion space on the northwest corner that could "permit a future development of multi-story residential or commercial component"

The plans also call for a number of amenities/features:
  • Internal service drives for cars, pedestrians and bikes to break up the "super block" and connect with adjoining city streets.
  • A sixteen-foot wide pedestrian zone all the way around the project with sidewalks, landscaping and furnishings
  • Pedestrian plaza on the side of the project facing JUMP
  • Connection to the existing Pioneer Corridor walking path/Greenbelt Connection

Analysis:
  • The hotel glut seems to make that plan unworkable for now. Gardner was able to purchase the land without the hotel requirement. At some point it's going to make sense for a large convention-style hotel close to the Grove - but there are some places left that still make sense for that.
  • Not everyone is going to like this plan - they'd like to see big, dazzling projects or residential or a big retail project. But none of those really make sense for this site. It's essentially a big freeway median. It makes pedestrian connectivity with the rest of downtown complicated - and isn't really a place I'd want to live. This project fits in nicely with the new Simplot project next year, adds needed parking - and can help grow retail options in the area and help extend downtown's footprint. Perfect? No. Good for the growth of downtown? Yes.
Elevations and site plans. Click to enlarge:

Office elevation




Small retail building



Parking garage



Site plan

 
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