Downtown Boise

Developer sees downtown parking lot's potential: bus hub, condos

Developer sees downtown parking lot's potential: bus hub, condos »Play Video

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - City leaders approved plans Tuesday night for the condominium portion of a new downtown development.

City Center Plaza would be built in the US Bank Building parking lot. In place of the cars, developers want new restaurants and an underground hub for city buses.

"I think public transportation is genius," said Reina Summers of Boise, "and I think it hopefully would get more people to use the bus systems."
The developer is the Gardner Company, which is also behind the new Zions Bank Building. Geoffrey Wardle, the VP of development for the company, says the parking lot across the street is part of their vision of what Boise's public transportation could be in 20 years.
"The other thing that people ask is why we have to have a transit center downtown when we don't have a very good transit system," Wardle said, "and we think that you have to have that long-term capital investment in permanent facilities to be able to encourage the Federal Transit Authority to recognize that this is a market that is committed to transit."
Parking is another concern Wardle has heard, but 70 spaces are included in the plans.
"This surface parking lot has been underutilized," Wardle said. "I've been questioned: 'Why do we need to build more?' We think it's a very different type of product. We're not building another Class A office building."
Boise City Council has OK'd one of the first steps in the long approval process. The Gardner Company hopes to have City Center Plaza built by mid-2016.