Major expansion plans for Boise Centre unveiled

Credit: Deren Martinez/KTVB

Major expansion plans for Boise Centre unveiled

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 30 at 7:12 PM

BOISE -- The Greater Boise Auditorium District unveiled plans today to expand the Boise Centre into a massive convention center in downtown Boise.

At this time, it is just a proposal, and nothing has been signed yet, but it looks like everybody is on board.

That's because at today's unveiling, joining the Auditorium District Board, were the Executive Director of the Boise Centre Pat Rice, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, the CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Bill Connors, and COO of the Gardner Company, Tommy Ahlquist.

Gardner Company would build the center.  They are the ones that finally filled the hole at 8th and Main and bought the U.S. Bank building.

The expansion would include construction of two buildings with about 43,000 square feet of meeting, kitchen, and function space on top of the parking lot around the U.S. Bank building, and have an elevated walkway to the old Boise Centre, which would eventually be renovated.

But, perhaps the most important thing, the Greater Boise Auditorium District already has most of the money to do this from bed taxes on hotels.

"We will also make sure this deal is financially sound. One point I want to make clear is that no property tax money is used in the expansion," said Hy Kloc with the Greater Boise Auditorium District.

Overall, the expansion will cost more than $25 million. 

The Auditorium District says they'll have $21 million of that in the bank when it comes time to pay up.

But, they also have the option of leasing some of that space for awhile, until they can buy it outright.

They hope to begin construction this summer and have the work complete by the third quarter of 2016.

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