There are several developers showing interest in the area, and it has been exciting to start discussions with them. During the month of May, we met with 2 different Portland, OR developers to hear about their ideas for the West End and downtown Boise. We also visited several of their projects to get a feel for the type of development they typically do, and determine how they may play a role in shaping our downtown.
2. Market Research and Demographics
For people interested in investing or moving to the West End, I thought it would be useful to quantify what type of people live there. As a part of this study, not only is it great to get population and income statistics, but also to determine lifestyle characteristics of the residents: where do they spend their money, do they typically rent or own their home, are they single or married, what do they do for employment, etc.
In summary, when the West End is compared to Boise as a whole, West End residents tend: to be younger, more often single, to make less money but be more educated, to be more likely to rent their home, and as may be expected, spend more money on most anything to do with outdoor activities!
3. Bike Shop & Beer Garden in the West End?
I attended a neighborhood meeting where a group would like to open a bike shop in conjunction with a beer garden in the old Nifty Nineties Antique Store at Main and 25th Street. Not only would this bring renovations to an existing building, but it would bring life to a vacant property! Neighbors were generally in support of this new project, but had some concerns with the lack of off street parking.
This group has since made official application with the City and will be encouraging customers to either walk or bike to their establishment – The Handlebar. We’re hoping this group can make this new business a reality, so stay tuned for further updates.
4. West End Food Park (WEFP) is Official!
The West End is looking forward to the Grand Opening of its newest business on July 3, 2014 when the West End Food Park officially opens! Look for site improvements to be taking place during the month of June and food trucks will be arriving shortly.
5. Various Exciting Activities
We have been working diligently with Rizen Creative to launch the West End website, which will be a great community asset as well as a place for potential developers to obtain valuable information. In addition, a three acre parcel along Whitewater Park Blvd. has been spurring great interest for multifamily development.