Boise Plans for 'Urban Renewal District'

The proposal seeks to sustainably manage development along State Street, support local businesses, and improve public transit and pedestrian infrastructure in the area.

2 minute read

June 28, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Boise Idaho

Pinpals / Pixabay

A proposed "urban renewal district" on Boise's State Street could go up for a vote in October, reports Margaret Carmel in BoiseDev. "City officials and Boise’s urban renewal agency, Capital City Development Corporation, have said for years the district is the key to upgrading State Street with the infrastructure and mixed-use development necessary to support public transportation." Matt Edmond, Director of Parking Mobility for CCDC, said the district would "deliver private development with significant public benefit" and "told city council Tuesday the bulk of the investments from the district will go toward transportation upgrades, but landscaping, bringing in local businesses with mixed-use developments and affordable housing are also priorities." Carmel writes that "[a] market analysis of the proposed district estimates 1,100 single family homes, 2,600 multi-family units, 362,000 square feet of retail, 50,000 square feet of office space and potentially a small hotel will come to the district in the next twenty years."

As State Street "buckled under the growing pressure of daily commuters" in recent years, city leaders started "looking toward bus rapid transit to help bring more people through the area without relying on cars." According to Edmond, "CCDC heard concerns about displacing existing affordable housing in the area with redevelopment, traffic cutting through residential neighborhoods and impacts to revenue for police, fire and other taxing districts" from local stakeholders, including concerns about displacement in mobile home parks adjacent to State Street. Edmonds said that while "there aren’t any plans to actively preserve" them, "a district could mitigate the impacts of development that is coming regardless," saying that "[w]hat we can do is incent [property owners] to try to replace that affordable housing and potentially fund any relocation."

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