Secret City Land Deals Explained On Map

The GUARDIAN has acquired numerous documents with regard to the land swaps involving the armory on Reserve Street and assorted Boise City-owned properties in the area of Eisenman Road and I-84.

Based on the information provided by Boise City, coupled with their refusal to communicate with the GUARDIAN except as required by law, we offer the following map which details the values assigned to various parcels by the city as well as sale prices of other nearby properties.

To the best of our understanding the city is disposing of the 5 acre armory site and 200 acres of land adjoining the WinCo distribution center for $1.5 million and retaining parcels which have previously been declared “surplus property” as partial payment.

No current appraisals to establish current value of the properties were provided with the exception of the armory which has an outdated 2010 appraisal of about $500,000.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. So, let me get this right? You are opposed to economic development and a development that would keep the aesthetics of the neighborhood that will bring jobs? Really?

    Cynthia Sewell wrote in her Idaho Statesman article:
    “….basically, the city wants to control who owns the properties, and how they’re developed. In essence, the city has more control over swaps than over sales.
    In a public auction, the highest bidder walks away with the property. In an exchange, the city gets to pick who it works with. The city prefers developers with immediate plans that will translate into jobs and taxes over speculators who would hold the land to develop later, said Jade Riley, the mayor’s chief of staff.”

    If the property simply went to auction and just any developer purchased it, what say would the City or the neighbors have on what is built or when? Not much if that project met city guidelines and code.

    I would prefer a developer that has the neighborhood in mind and I happen to know for a fact that a developer with the neighborhood in mind was exactly what the City of Boise preferred.

    Cut the crap about secrecy. The City of Boise has been looking for just the right developer with the neighborhood in mind for a decade. Commend them!

  2. The property does not have to go to auction. Here is how it works…if I have it right the property is appraised by a certified appraiser they try to sell it and if, after a reasonable amount of time it does not sell they can auction it off to the highest bidder. They can specify a reserve amount as a part of the auction.

    Zoning,landscape and design review regulations are plenty to assure decent projects and Boise has all of that.

    EDITOR NOTE–They don’t even have to appraise it. The value can be established by agreement. I.C. 50-1402

  3. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 16, 2011, 2:55 pm

    Regardless of the merits or lack of merits of the land deal, the City of Boise’s secrecy needs to be ended. The City of Boise’s coziness with business interests needs to be ended. The City of Boise’s authority to restrict the freedom of the citizens needs to be drastically reduced. (And of course, corporations and businesses are not citizens, nor “persons”) The City of Boise should be limited to stopping people from running red lights, stealing from each other, and keeping the neighbors from painting their house purple or orange – and not much else. We need a lot more freedom here in the home of the brave and the land of the free.

  4. Correction Rod–the city’s coziness is only with big business. Trying developing a business for under $200K like a mom and pop cafe, and see if the city offers any help. I have 4 such businesses in 3 different jurisdictions and have only ever seen the city or county as an obstacle and cost to doing a new business. In one city I pay a tax for every fork, knife, spoon, pot, pan, tupperware, bowl, plate, etc. About 35 cents each but a ridiculous waste of time. I would like to open a 5th location, but even the thought of having to deal with the city and ACHD is a nightmare so I sit on the sidelines and look for opportunities elsewhere.

  5. I think a lot of what goes on is connected to CCDC (urban renewal)and their wide powers granted by the Idaho Legislature. They may come in with an initial plan but it soon becomes Whack-a-mole throwing huge amounts of money at pop-up targets. There is no oversight by taxpayers of CCDC and other Urban Renewal Agencies statewide. Last year nearly $50million was taken in and spent by all the Urban Renewal agencies in the state.

    Is it any wonder virtually every developer and project wants a handout of cash. None of them want to stand on their own merits. Cities where UR districts exist are delighted to hand out cash and perks to developers and every single taxpayer in the counties where these pork agencies exist get stuck paying for Urban Renewal projects. It is one of the least understood ponzi schemes invented by the Idaho Legislature.

  6. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 17, 2011, 4:21 pm


    As a small business owner, it sounds like you have more issues with the City of Boise (or State of Idaho) than you do with the Federal government. Is that correct?

    I’m not a small business owner. I feel like I get something for the dollars I send to the Federal Government, but I feel like I get NOTHING from the state or city (except laws restricting my freedom) and I send them almost as much money.

  7. Just Curious

    EDITOR NOTE–We hear not, but our secret government won’t discuss it.

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