BOISE -- Boise State might be expanding their campus into the yet-to-be-built City Centre Plaza.

The university and a local developer are excited about the possibility.

But some say it means a bigger tax burden for everyone else.

Developer Gardner and Company approached Boise State with this idea, that it says would allow BSU to lease some of its property at a reduced cost.

But others say it's a missed opportunity for the city to collect property taxes.

Gardner and Company built the 8th and Main Building and is now developing a new project right across the street at the parking lot next to the US Bank Building. It will be called City Centre Plaza, and according to Gardner, will be home to Clearwater Analytics, other technology firms, and maybe, Boise State University.

Boise State says Gardner approached them about moving portions of their Computer Science Department to 54,000 square feet at City Centre Plaza, right next door to those downtown technology firms.

Boise State is excited about the possibility and the cost of the lease, that they say is competitive. It's $16 per square foot, which they say is below the going rate for new developments downtown, about $5 per square foot below a lease at 8th and Main. Also, they can buy the space at the end of a 20-year lease for $1.

But not everyone is excited. Some, like local activist-blogger Dave Frazier, believes it's a missed opportunity for local government to collect property taxes.

Since Boise State is a non-profit, they wouldn't pay any property taxes on that space, worth millions of dollars in downtown.

That is being seen by opponents as putting a bigger tax burden on everyone else.

Boise State doesn't know what they would do with the space they're vacating on campus, but they say they'll figure it out.

The City Center Plaza where BSU would lease this space is not built, yet. It should be done in about two years.

According to the proposal, if at the end of those two years, they want to pull out and not lease the space, they can.

Read or Share this story: