City Government

Mother of All Skinny Houses

First it was those ubiquitous (for you non-library types that is “ever present”) skinny in-fill houses and now a developer is aiming for the MOTHER OF ALL SKINNY HOUSES with a 194 feet tall tower only 30 feet wide.

Big spread on the business page of the Statesman newspaper Sunday cheerleading a proposed skyscraper which will be as skinny as many living rooms. With a nice color drawing and a half page display (Memories of the tower pit!!), Scott Kimball’s project presents like a done deal.

It has enthusiastic support of the CCDC, and for good reason. The downtown agency which provides development support, parking, infrastructure, etc. to developers at the expense of the rest of Boise’s taxpaying citizens stands to gain about $400, 000 annually in taxes.

Meanwhile the city of Boise gets close to “0” nada, nothing, in revenues on the $20 million structure. HOWEVER, citizens will be expected to provide police, fire, ambulance and all the other services consumed by a skyscraper–skinny as it may be.

The even bigger slap in the face is Boise City would be allowed to increase its annual budget by the city tax portion on new value (about $100,000) with no tax revenue to support the increase–hence it comes from the rest of us.

The plan is to build the structure on a little strip of grass along Front Street between the stairwells of the parking garage across the street from the Grove Hotel. Kimball acquired the land a year ago from the Greater Boise Auditorium District for $350,000.

G-BAD, under Idaho Code qualifies as a political subdivision of Idaho state government.

The process of selling municipal land is spelled out in the Idaho Code and in essence requires public hearings, a vote by (the G-BAD board) city council declaring the land in question is “surplus”, and then the land is sold at public auction following legal advertisements.

The GUARDIAN will be first to admit we don’t know if the G-BAD followed the provisions of IDAHO CODE 50-1403 or even if they are required to (we think they are), but the question has now been raised. Maybe the mainstream media will follow on this one.

G-BAD has had difficulty in the past complying with Idaho Code. The supreme court recently ripped them for using public money to advertise in favor of a bond for a proposed convention center.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Why does the word ” Funhouse” pop into my mind?
    Perhaps because the developer wants to get as rich as possible at the expense of the people and their city government by building a monstrosity and then laughing all the way to the bank?

    It does follow the local political trend, which is to enrich city,county and state govt. and their developer friends while impoverishing the People. Here’s the real joke: CCDC ( City govts. bureaucratic baby) gets to enrich itself by $ 400,000 in tax from the project which will house luxury condo’s while the city get’s nothing but still has to provide police,fire and other services. The city can however tax the people another $ 100,000 annually to cover these CCDC expenses. Does that sound like the politicians on our city council helping CCDC and real-estate developer friends enrich themselves or am I missing the Gag Line? The Mayor and City council need to put a stop to irresponsible developers saddling the Citizens of Boise with the price of their get rich schemes!

    EDITOR NOTE: Joe got this one dead on and he is right.

  2. I am not proud to admit that I worked for Broadbent Development Co. in the 1970’s when that company was selling off all their downtown holdings to Boise Redevelopment Agency – the Sonna Building, the Mode Building, the Eastman Building, the Idanha Hotel, the Broadbent Building. After selling all that stuff it only took a few years before a once profitable company managed to go bankrupt after spending all their profits. Isn’t that the story of American business these days? The BRA morphed into the CCDC and I still don’t understand what their purpose is. It doesn’t seem like they have created any value for the people of Boise. Perhaps I just don’t understand. It just seems like the rich keep getting richer. If someone out there can explain this stuff please reply.

  3. And the city wonders why the taxpayers are voting down all of the new library, school, convention center bonds??? Maybe the taxes to us poor property owners aren’t fair? Just a thought.

    Sure hope the State of Idaho can give us more liquor licenses. I think all of us property owners are going to need a stiff drink when we get our next tax bill.

  4. You guys are starting to get it! Those of us on the inside hope you will continue to speak out (and dig) because those of us inside cannot…without paying a heavy personal price.

    The real purpose of the CCDC is to give the city the ability to DIRECT AND CONTROL development downtown and be another arm of the City Council agenda, as well as the Downtown Association. It is also the tool for collecting and spending tax money OUTSIDE the normal city tax structure.

  5. Sharon Ullman
    Mar 10, 2006, 10:10 am

    To Inside: I understand that you can’t speak out without risking the loss of your job, but you CAN provide information to those of us out here who like to investigate such tips. There is a growing group of people that is working to shine more light on problems in government. It is a lot easier to do so, though, with some idea of where to look.

    If you are worried about your identity being discovered, you can e-mail anonymously, using a “yahoo” or “hotmail” type e-mail address and a public computer, such as one at the library, Kinko’s etc.

    I am particularly interested in stories involving local government, and I know the GUARDIAN has been known to follow up on stories at both the local and state levels, when the topic is one of interest. If you want to reach me, my e-mail address is: [email protected], or you can reach me by telephone at 362-0843. Of course, you have access to the GUARDIAN everyday, through this website.

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