As one of the nation’s fastest growing community colleges since its inception, CWI is investigating how to best handle the demand for educational services. Part of this plan is likely to include expansion on its current campus in Canyon County and also ideas on how to best grow an Ada County campus. In the next several months we will be learning more on how CWI plans to finance its growth and become a catalyst for further development within the West End.
1. Stakeholder Outreach
With spring in full swing, there seems to be some excitement in the air for possibilities within the West End. I met with various stakeholders in the area to discuss what has been happening and what is going to be happening. In the month of April, I met with:
· St. Luke’s – discussion as to the efforts of the City and CCDC within the West End as well as some discussion as to their plans with their land holdings.
· Capital Lumber – educational meeting to share our efforts in the West End and determine how they could mesh with the desires of the neighborhood and the future of Capital Lumber.
· Veterans Park Neighborhood Association (VPNA) Annual Meeting – attending and presenting our plans for the West End at the annual neighborhood meeting held at the Dutch Goose. Many neighbors had questions as to potential development along Main & Fairview as well as impacts of the 27th Street modification.
2. Community Outreach
During the month of April, I met with Centennial Rotary as well as holding a Brown Bag Luncheon with the Urban Land Institute. The Rotary meets at the Riverside Hotel and had numerous inquiries as to the possibility of a multi-use stadium, the new zoning and parking overlay, and the naming of the West End.
The brown bag luncheon with the ULI was well attended with about 25 participants, and we discussed various items with emphasis on housing, the vision of the West End, and the implications of the rezone along Main & Fairview. In addition, we took a walking tour to discuss the potential Food Truck Park as well as a proposed Bike Shop & Beer Garden.
3. Branding & Getting the Word Out
You may have noticed that the West End now has a big branding statement visible from The Connector. During April, the old Boise Marine building was repainted white and then a large West End logo was painted on the building to help make people aware of the neighborhood. This building is highly visible to over 70,000 cars per day, and we’re hopeful people will start taking note and asking questions.
In addition, we are getting close to launching the West End website! This website will be a great resource for information on potential development opportunities the area, spreading the word on events, collaborating with businesses, and sharing our vision.
4. Update on West End Food Park (WEFP)
As promoters of the West End, the City has taken a lead role to try and assist in getting the WEFP up and running. We are in the final stages of lease negotiations, bidding improvements for the site, and hopefully getting a lease signed soon.
5. Investigating Connectivity and Site Planning
Because there are numerous large parcels that could be developed in a number of ways in the Main/Fairview corridor, we have been investigating various site plans and building layouts that could be conducive to catalyst development that is bicycle and pedestrian friendly. As we speak to developer s and potential tenants for the area, it is helpful for them to share our thoughts on the items that are important to the City and the neighborhood. In addition, these quick studies give us realistic expectations on development sizes and layouts.
1. Construction has begun in the West End!
The first West End construction project has broke ground! It is a 21,000 square foot, 2 story medical office building on the corner of Whitewater Park Boulevard and Main Street. This first floor will be home to Whitewater Oral Surgery while the second floor is seeking new tenants. This building incorporates some great design features to include: building pulled up to the corner with the parking located behind, a mixture of high quality exterior cladding choices, and a modern type architecture by Erstad Architects.
2. Events and Community Building
Sheila Francis, with Payette Brewing, organized the first Food Truck Rally to benefit the American Cancer Society “Relay for Life.” This Rally boasted excellent attendance and it was great to see lots and lots of patrons showing up on bikes.
In addition, it is now official that the YMCA’s “Y not Tri” will be moving to the West End! Look for this event on July 12th. Some of the great changes to the race are a Saturday start time (instead of a Thursday evening) to help boost attendance, multiple distances to accommodate more athletes, and food trucks to help make this a real family outing.
3. The word is getting out and people are taking notice.
As our efforts to spread the word start getting out, we are seeing more and more inquiries into the West End from potential users, developers, and real estate agents. In the past month, I was invited to speak at several events to share our vision. During these discussions, attendees were excited to see so much effort being put forth to revive this part of town and many are asking how they can get involved.
4. West End Food Park & City Park and Ride
An idea to expand on the underserved retail needs of the West End, we have been approached by a group to help evaluate the idea of getting a West End Food Park established. This idea would allow food trucks to set up 7 days a week and provide the area with some activity and some highly needed dining options. In addition, the City is investigating the idea of a Park and Ride location in the West End for employees at City Hall. This location would allow employees to park their car in the West End, and then shuttle or ride their bike to City Hall.
As a part of these two plans, we are investigating if it may be beneficial for both parties to co-locate, which would allow shared parking and expenses, as well as, giving the employees dining options while coming or going.
1. City Disposition Plan in the West End
Since the City is a large land owner in the West End, it makes sense that the City investigate its options in helping spur development by leveraging its holdings. Some advantages of leading this effort would be:
· Spurring private development in our newest urban renewal district.
· Directing the type of development that advances the City’s vision as shown in the Master Plan.
· Bring synergistic type development, which can help make our downtown core even stronger.
2. CCDC at Work
To “Market the Change” and “Engage the Community,” signage has been installed at the West End office, and we are in the last steps of finalizing a contract to paint a West End mural on the old Boise Marine building at 24th and Fairview. In addition, we have ordered branding materials to continue our efforts with keeping the momentum moving forward and the neighborhood active in spreading the word. In addition, Rizen Creative has started the West End website, which we hope to unveil by May 1st.
3. Events in the West End!
We have scored a couple victories in bringing events, people, and excitement to the West End for 2014. On March 14th, a Food Truck Rally will take place at the corner of Whitewater Park Boulevard and Main Street. This event will benefit the American Cancer Society. On May 1st we will be hosting an event called the West End Summit, which will be an interactive event focusing on potential development in the West End. Lastly, we are excited to announce that the Y not Tri (held by the YMCA) will be moving from its longstanding location on Parkcenter to Quinn’s Pond and Whitewater Park Boulevard. Not only will this triathlon now be in the West End, it will grow its presence and move from a Thursday evening event to a Saturday triathlon.
4. Right Sizing Main and Fairview
The dialogue with ACHD has begun to discuss the possibility of implementing the street sections called out in the Master Plan along Main and Fairview. The Master Plan calls for a reduction of 4 travel lanes to 3 travel lanes with the addition of on-street parking and bicycle lanes. ACHD is in the process of running traffic analysis to help determine how these streets may be made more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
5. Rezone Passes Boise City Council
Although this officially took place in March, the West End has crossed its first large policy milestone to making higher density, mixed use development a reality. City Council passed a rezone to C-5 in the Main/Fairview corridor in addition to expanding the parking overlay.
1. City Disposition Plan in the West End
As a part of “Identifying Catalysts” and “Deliver Results”, we are investigating the possibility of the City selling its land holdings in the West End. If the City does indeed dispose of its property, it is possible to do so in a manner such that various aspects of development can be controlled by the City and various stakeholders. For example, it is plausible the City could require the following:
2. CCDC at Work
To “Market the Change” and “Engage the Community,” we are working with Rizen Creative to help develop the identity of the West End and build relationships with the business community. Over the next several months we will refine how urban renewal dollars can be best spent to further CCDC’s mission. In addition, be on the lookout for the West End Summit, which is planned for April 2nd at the Red Lion Downtown. This will be an opportunity to showcase the assets in the West End to a diverse audience, but also get feedback as to future development and business building.
3. Possibility for Multifamily in the West End
There are several parcels that could be well suited for multifamily development in the West End. With the amenities that already exist (proximity to downtown, the Greenbelt, the Boise River Park, etc.) or are planned (Esther Simplot Park, a neighborhood friendly 27th Street, etc.) there is a desire to live near our urban core. Various multifamily developers have expressed interest in the area, and we are hopeful that this type of development could be announced during 2014.
4. Review of the CCDC Capital Improvement Plan & 30th Street Master Plan
As we continue to pursue bringing good things to our newest Urban Renewal District, it is important that we check in with our progress and benchmarks as they may have been laid out in our guiding documents. The good news after reviewing the timelines and various benchmarks is that some adjustments may need to be made, and they are positive! By looking at the CCDC’s CIP or the Master Plan Implementation chapter, it appears we are ahead of schedule.
5. Rezone Passes Planning and Zoning Commission
The first major policy step in the West End is to rezone of a large portion of the Main/Fairview corridor to C-5, which would allow for a more urban development. In addition to the rezone, we are extending the P-3 Parking Overlay throughout the commercial zone along Main and Fairview to reduce the amount of required parking spots. This has passed Planning and Zoning and is scheduled to be heard by City Council on March 4th.
We read lots of headlines on how our real estate market is doing great downtown, but being a numbers guy, I want to the know the facts! Our good friends at Thornton Oliver Keller and Colliers put out great market research reports, and I take particular interest in the bi-annual publications. Both 2013 mid-year reports came out in July, and I thought I would share some of the highlights I pulled from the reports.
Interesting Downtown Facts
Now going forward, what do we see or can we predict anything? Here a couple things I foresee happening:
The City of Boise wants to make sure things start happening in the 30th Street area, and they have hired me to help them out! Because of my commercial real estate focus in downtown Boise and a few other attributes, I will be helping to get things going. Have ideas, questions, comments, or anything else to do with the 30th Street area? Give me a shout!
Here's the email that went out to the Planning and Development Staff at the City of Boise from Derick O'Neill.
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve engaged Jay Story as the new 30th Street Project Coordinator and will begin his responsibilities immediately.
Jay has a Bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, a Master’s degree from Stanford University, and is the owner of Story Commercial, LLC. Through his work as a developer, commercial real estate broker and Planning & Zoning Commissioner, he is familiar with Boise City’s zoning code and will be a great asset to the 30th Street Project. He won’t have an office in City Hall, but you’ll see him here frequently.
Jay will work collectively with the Capitol City Development Corporation (CCDC) through a joint Memorandum of Understanding between CCDC and the City of Boise which we hope to have approved in the next 30 days. Jay will coordinate the 30th Street Area Revitalization project for the City and CCDC, utilize the 30th Street Master Plan as the guiding document for implementation, be a member of the 30th Street Revitalization Project Team, and act as an advocate and public spokesperson as appropriate for the project.
Jay will propose redevelopment projects for the 30th Street area and be an ombudsman for developers and other area stakeholders working with the City. His additional responsibilities are listed below.
· Develop the Team: Coordinate the 30th Street Revitalization team and encourage the development envisioned in the 30th Street Area plan.
· Market The Change: Identify key marketing messages and coordinate with a branding and marketing agency to present branding concepts and materials to 30th Street Revitalization Team, CCDC and the City of Boise.
· Identify Catalysts: Identify key infrastructure, zoning and ordinance changes needed to spur revitalization in the 30th Street area. Identify and develop possible rehabilitation/revitalization projects and high probability catalyst projects.
· Engage the Community: Establish the 30th Street Revitalization Team Headquarters. Interview individuals and focus groups made up of stakeholders, property owners and others to identify key issues and roadblocks associated with implementing the 30th Street Plan.
· Deliver Results: Develop a realistic schedule for the project that is properly resourced and with appropriate benchmarks and deadlines.
· Eliminate Roadblocks: Prioritize and communicate issues to the 30th Street Revitalization Team and key stakeholders/property owners that need resolution and develop strategies to address those issues.