Boise revitalization project still needs council approval

Boise revitalization project still needs council approval

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by Andrea Lutz

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KTVB.COM

Posted on November 26, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 6:04 AM

BOISE – There is economic investment going on all around downtown Boise.

Dirt is moving at 8th and Main, a popular grocery store just opened its doors and now the Boise City Council is looking into another revitalization project.

While many things are changing in downtown Boise, nothing has changed at 30th and Main streets, on the western edge of the downtown corridor.

Now, there is a focus to renew this neighborhood, something the city council will talk about again this week.

Boise businessman Glen Eberle found a niche product in an unsuspecting market.

His company ships backpacks all over the world that are used by hunters, snipers and the military.

“We grew our business in a little 4,000 square foot building, sign painted over black, didn't want anyone to come bother us,” said Eberle.

But when he expanded, he chose 30th and Main to harvest his business.

“Right off the river, all sorts of interesting potential for the future right here, and of course I won't say I saw all of that coming, but I think I did” said Eberle.

Tuesday, the Boise City Council will hold a second reading of the 30th Street Urban Renewal District.

“Anyone who has gone through there in a while has seen sort of that lack of activity,” said Anthony Lyons, Capital City Development Corporation.

Lyons says the vacant land and lack of infrastructure could change dramatically. But it will take private investments along with public funds to do it.

“So when properties get redeveloped and there is added value, we get a portion to help put right back into the land there,” said Lyons.

It's paid for through tax increment dollars from businesses and residents alike.  As property values increase, more money comes in, and the CCDC invests that money.

“And you see right downtown, Whole Foods, or 8th and Main, or JUMP, or soon to be Macy's, where all the public investment is happening, it’s a pretty good time in the downtown and we would like to encourage growth down the 30th Street corridor, and we think it will happen,” said Lyons.

With a retail showroom ready to open, Eberle may have started small, but knows his 30th Street location holds big things to come.

“I just felt like this was a great place to invest for the future, and we plan on being here for a long time, and love to see the rest of the area improved,” said Eberle.

This proposed urban renewal district will run from 23rd Street all the way to the Boise River. The CCDC has been looking into this district for close to seven years.

The Boise City Council will not make a decision Tuesday. They are set to do that at a third reading in December. A public hearing on the matter has already been held.

If council members approve the urban renewal district, the CCDC will start work on January 1st.

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