Three state departments make up 35 percent of a downtown Boise complex, but one agency's lease that is set to expire next year could leave several hundred state employees without an office.
The departments of Idaho's Fish and Game, Finance and State Tax Commission are all housed in the Washington Group Plaza.
The departments of Fish and Game and Finance have leases that up in 2017 and 2022, but the tax commission's rent is up in June of next year.
The state was considering purchasing the complex until it learned another tenant, St. Luke's Hospital, had already made an offer that had been accepted.
“It was a little bit of a surprise,” says Bob Geddes, director of Idaho’s Department of Administration.
Geddes, whose department oversees all Idaho state leases, says he's concerned where the tax commission's 350 employees will go on such short notice if the pending sale between St. Lukes Hospital and the Washington Plaza Group take place.
“The tax commission is year-round - they take and provide service all the time. We have to certainly make that a move that is feasible to them to make ongoing operations, certainly a concern.”
Geddes says all options are being considered, including negotiating a lease extension or possibly building a new facility that would house the tax commission along with other state departments.
“We manage all the Capitol Mall space as well. The report we gave, we indicated that almost every bit of space is occupied. We have population growing and government and we are seeing a lot of pressure to have adequate working space.”
Spokeswoman for St. Luke's, Anita Kissee, said it is too early to say what the hospital would do with the space or if they would be willing to negotiate leasing options, as the hospital is still itself just a tenant and there is no final sale.
Geddes says if the purchase does go through, he is confident a reasonable solution will be reached.
“Were certainly hopeful that they would be willing to work with us and accommodate us and work out a reasonable time frame for the state of Idaho, and especially for the tax commission.”