BOISE -- Driving into downtown Boise off the Connector will soon have a different look now that the Simplot Family Foundation has won approval to move forward with Jack's Urban Meeting Place, or JUMP.
The Boise Planning and Zoning Committee overruled the Design and Review Committee's project denial from two months ago, clearing the way for the project to begin.
This project is meant to be different things to different people.
From a place to foster creative thinking - to a place to hold large banquets - to a place to meet people and simply hang out.
I couldn't be any more pleased first for the Simplot family, and then for all of us that we're going to see this happen, said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.
Jack's Urban Meeting Place is named after the late J.R. Simplot.
The $70 million project will fill what is now an empty parking lot and abandoned warehouse.
After years of talk and five months of paperwork and legalities, JUMP can finally move forward.
Christmas came early this year for JUMP, said Simplot spokesman David Cuoio. We're delighted to have approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission. We're glad to be finally moving forward.
Within the next several months construction workers will tear up the area between Front and Myrtle and 9th and 11th streets in preparation for the official ground breaking in the summer of 2011.
We want the community to feel that this is their project, said Cuoio. There's going to be a park there that the community can use anytime they want.
Cuoio says there will also be dance classes, a huge meeting room and parking for over 500 cars.
What we really want the community to do is look at this as a fun, innovative, creative project that they can make their own, said Cuoio. They can go in, take a look at it, decide what works best for them, and just have fun with it.
We're known as an entrepreneurial and a creative area, said Bieter. I think this can give that a real focal point and some resources to help that grow forward.
Construction of the project is expected to create 700 to 800 jobs.
We're very excited for what this can do for the community on many levels, said Cuoio.
It's unclear how many construction jobs will be created at the beginning of the project.
After the project is completed, Cuoio says the planning specifics are still to be worked and that will determine the number of jobs created.