NAMPA, Idaho — A plot of dirt sits empty behind the area known to many Idahoans as the Karcher Mall in Nampa.
“Karcher Mall was the very first mall in the state of Idaho, and it was a wonderful property. However, malls -- their times have kind of come and gone,” said Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling.
She remembers the mall fondly, but she's thrilled that as the city of Nampa grows, so will the development.
“My hope is that we are not only adding additional housing for our community but we're adding some great retail partners,” Kling said.
On Wednesday, Mayor Kling, ESI Construction and developer Rhino Investments held a groundbreaking for what's known as District 208. Sanjiv Chopra is the CEO of Rhino Investments, the company behind the vision of District 208.
Chopra said when Rhino Investments first started looking at the property, they weren't sure what to expect, but then, through research, they discovered how much Nampa is growing, and how big the city is becoming -- more than 100,000 people, according to the 2020 census.
“Once we realized that, we wanted to add apartments, we wanted to do storage, retail and take this project and really maximize it to its best use,” Chopra said. “We wanted to bring something where people can live, work play and have daily needs taken care of.”
Which is what they're doing. District 208 will consist of more than 250 residential units, retail and storage, and it will be built behind the former mall, according to Chopra.
“A lot of two bedrooms and three bedrooms, Nampa has a need for a lot of families, so we really allocated 75% of our units toward those families and then there are one-bedrooms as well, it'll have a club house, a pool, a lot of good amenities,” Chopra said.
He said the pandemic slowed the project down a bit, but he is appreciative to the people and the city for being so accepting. The first round of apartments is expected to be completed by the end of this year or early next year. It'll all be done in phases.
“The idea of District 208 was you live at the district, you can shop at the district, you can eat at the district,” Chopra said.
Watch more 'Growing Idaho':
See the latest growth and development news in our YouTube playlist: