City Government

Simplot JUMP Project Hits Design Review Snag

PHOTO: Susan Desko Architects

The Simplot family’s proposed down JUMP development hit a snag with Boise officials last night when the Design Review Commission deadlocked in a 3-3 tie over approval of the proposed project to be located between 9th and11th Streets bordered by Front and Myrtle in downtown Boise.

Simplot spokesman David Cuoio told the GUARDIAN, “We were stunned at the tie as well as not getting approval.”
He said the family has “spent millions” to conform to the wishes of city planners and others after numerous meetings which included sessions with the mayor and council over several years. One member of the board was absent Wednesday, forcing the tie vote.

JUMP stands for “Jacks Urban Meeting Place” which the Simplot folks describe as a creative structure in the middle of a park. Cuoio said “acted in good faith” with the new plan and they are prepared to explore all options–including another try before the commission on October 13.

The $70million project falls within the city urban renewal district which means all of the tax revenue on any construction will go to the CCDC, not Boise City.

The Mayor’s Committee is bound
To give JUMP the run-around
It seems such a pity
For it will leave our fair city
With another hole in the ground!
–Poet Paul

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Damned private enterprise! Haven’t they learned by now that if a structure isn’t built with public money, this city doesn’t want it! Please God, let Jack come back just long enough to beat some sense into these jerks! If he were still here, I bet the first thing we would have seen this morning would be a D-9 Cat scraping that lot and Jack would be standing there telling the Statesman that “the city can go to hell”!!!

  2. Cyclops- I could not of said it better.

  3. Clancy: Ditto

  4. Gem State Avenger
    Sep 30, 2010, 4:06 pm

    Oh Dan. I am looking through Idaho Code and can’t find the section in the law that gives the CCDC “all” of the taxes from this project. Now the law does allow the urban renewal district to take a share of the new tax revenues generated from the enhanced property value but that is different than “all”.

    EDITOR NOTE–What portion of IMPROVEMENTS (i.e. new structures) does NOT go to CCDC? When M&O for schools went off property tax, I believe that ALL of the “increment” now goes to urban renewal. Glad to clarify if I am wrong.

  5. Does anyone know that details surrounding why there were some nay votes?

  6. Rod in SE Boise
    Sep 30, 2010, 8:00 pm

    Not enough information.

    Is the “Design Review Commission” part of Boise City or part of CCDC?

    If the “Design Review Commission” is part of Boise City, is it composed of city employees (like from the planning and zoning department) or elected officials (like the mayor & city council)?

    Planning & zoning has a valid function in our society. They keep the peace. Really. If my neighbor was allowed to paint his house purple, or keep a junk car in the yard there would be no peace.

    EDITOR NOTE–Design Review is a board of volunteers…perhaps a councilor is also assigned, but not certain. We have no beef w/ the board, but these are the folks who mandate those spreading junipers that catch all the butts and gum wrappers in front of businesses. Simplot people thought they had done what was asked of them.
    Daily Paper will follow with details from a paid reporter…the GUARDIAN is source material for the others.

  7. You guys ought to like this: (LA Times article about urban renewal agencies),0,6634120.story

    Regarding the 3 votes against the JUMP project; what exactly is the problem? Is it parking? Ingress and egress are certainly a concern on busy Front/Myrtle/9th. Is it the large amount of open space? Is it too ugly? Do the finish materials look like painted styrofoam like the Grove Hotel?

  8. Inside City Hall
    Oct 1, 2010, 10:26 am

    OK – here is what you need to do get a project approved by both planning and zoning as well as design review. And eventually the City Council.

    1. Have the City Council and mayor in your pocket.
    2. The project must be a block style and brown in color. Again the building must be brown.
    3. You must be willing to listen to the commissioners who know less about the market and real market forces than you do. In other words you have to make them look good when you know more than they do.
    4. Understand that the only developers that get stuff approved are those that pander to the planning and development department.
    5. Be willing to make your project more ugly – the commissioners love ugly – take the Aspen builing – as you look at it from the train depot it is now the ugliest building in the downtown skyline.
    6. Be willing to kiss the bottoms of the city council.
    7. Lastly – ignore the public and especially the nieghborhoods and the tax payers that testify. Call them stupid and ignorant.

    Do these things and your project will fly though!

  9. Suffice it to say that this project, as all projects, needs to go through several tweaks and reviews. Just built a house for myself. Had to do the same thing. It’s normal. Don’t make hay where there is none. [Suggestion: If you pick your battles wisely more people will listen and have trust in you. If every last thing people (i.e. current folks in city hall) do is wrong in your eyes, you lose credibility as a solid, critical thinker.] I think Jack would understand the “snag”. In fact, I know he would.

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