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.