The announcement by the J. R. Simplot Company to build a nine story headquarters at 11th and Front while Gardner plans a new project at 8th and Main brings to mind the differences in funding.
Simplot’s project won’t depend on public money like the Gardner project which depends of lots of public money–just for the foundation.
Simplot may very well create a demand for parking structures and bicycles, but by the time the new building is a reality, the CCDC Central District will nearly be expired (2017) … then there is Team Dave’s desire named street car.
Taxpayers–under the current Gardner scheme–will fund a good portion of the basement foundation in the form of a “transit center.” Citizens will have no voice in the project which depends upon money from half a dozen agencies. Don’t forget this location is at least the fourth “perfect location” for a transit center.
One of the troubling aspects includes a “ballroom” in the Gardner structure planned for the Center on the Grove which depends upon future public tax money from the Greater Boise Auditorium District.
Idaho’s constitution mandates agencies must seek voter approval to spend future tax money. GBAD has a hearing set for May 21 as the first move to circumvent the public and get a single judge to “confirm” the ballroom is “ordinary and necessary.”
If the project is viable, we suggest Gardner put its hands in its own pocket to secure financing and charge rent for its real estate.
NOTE– The GUARDIAN is in Vietnam where the government doesn’t worry about public’s thoughts on spending, so we may be a bit slow posting comments.