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Members concerned about potential new River Club development

Lincoln Property Company filed an application with Garden City for a multi-phase redesign late last month for what it calls "The Residences at River Club."

GARDEN CITY, Idaho — One of the oldest golf courses in the Treasure Valley, the Boise River Club, might look very different in the next 10 years. 

Owner Will Gustafson recently sold the club to Lincoln Property Company, which last month filed an application with Garden City for a multi-phase redesign for what it calls "The Residences at River Club." 

"We always talked about developing on State Street because we need to create revenue to do everything we needed to do to this club," Gustafson said.

If approved, the company plans on developing 22.5 acres of the club. More than 700 multi-story apartments and town homes would be built. There would also be shopping and entertainment space. 

To make room, the golf course would be remodeled as well. 

"We are going to reroute the golf course, new irrigation, new cart paths... make room for this 22-acres that were taken out. We'll still have over 100 acres to put the golf in," Gustafson said.

To address homeowner and member concerns, Gustafson held a town hall on Thursday. 

Some people are worried about lack of parking, potential noise issues and general overcrowding. Others are concerned their view of the foothills and golf course will be obstructed. 

Brad Wilfong, who lives along the golf course, said he hopes the company compromises with residents. 

"Is there a way to change the layout of the golf course to still incorporate homeowners so they have a golf course next to them, and they can see a golf course, and not a five-story apartment building?" he asked.

If approved, the project would take about six years to complete. It also would cost between $250 million and $300 million. The company said it would pay for everything. 

Gustafson said the future of the club depends on the development. 

"Without this approval going through, then, we just would not have the funds to move forward," he said. "And... I'd have to sell the property." 

Currently, the project is still in the early stages. Developers will go before Garden City's Planning and Zoning Commission in February.

It will eventually be up to City Council to either approve or deny the project. The first public hearing is set for mid-March. 

Since the company is only developing about 22 acres, Gustafson said he should get the rest of the property back if the proposal goes through. 

He believes the development benefits everyone long-term. 

"At the end of the day, this helps maintain the property values for our neighbors," Gustafson said. "Allowing us to go forward gives us the capital to guarantee that this remains a golf course for the next 100 years."

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