Dressed in a dark blue blazer and light blue shirt, Geoff Wardle, local counsel for the developer who wants to build a ball park on Americana looked remarkably like a baseball umpire and the crowd treated him like one.
They jeered him and challenged most of his statements, cutting him off in mid sentence when he attempted to explain “the history of baseball in Boise.”
The “neighborhood meeting” required when submitting building applications to the city was set in the corner of the old K-Mart parking lot on Americana which is now owned by St. Luke’s. With no sound system and little more than an architect’s rendering for a prop, Wardle stood for questions from local residents.
They taunted, shouted, waved protest signs, and generally treated him like an umpire who called strikes on their favorite batter. Like a good ump, Wardle remained calm.
At issue is a plan by Greenstone Properties to build a ball park and develop the area with assorted residential and commercial structures, using public funds from the city, the urban renewal agency, and even the auditorium district. None of those agencies has approved any funding, and there doesn’t seem to be much support from Boise citizens. A downtown stadium has been one of the many pet projects of Mayor Dave Bieter whose absence was noted with disdain by the crowd of about 100.
If built as planned, the project will avoid a vote of the citizens, call the Idaho Constitution into question, and remove the commercial and residential project from the tax rolls for 20 years along with a multi-million dollar stadium structure from the tax rolls for all eternity.
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Apr 17, 2018, 9:43 pm
Wow, I’m forever thankful that I live just outside the city limit boundary and that we have county commissioners that will listen to the voters on spicy issues such as this.
Just rebuild Hawks stadium where it now stands and use up the remaining lease that goes with it.
EDITOR NOTE–Bring it up to your Commishes. They have been notably silent on the issue. I did see their chief of staff at the meeting, however.
Apr 17, 2018, 10:00 pm
Mayor Bieter has some really big ideas indeed.
Apr 17, 2018, 10:31 pm
Greenstone developers is not listed with the Secretary of State. How can they do business in Idaho?
Apr 17, 2018, 10:35 pm
Well, I for one, wouldn’t waste any time, nor money attending a baseball game, or any sport activity.
Hopefully this could become the downfall of Dave Beiter, not holding my breath though.
The Raiders NFL team is leaving the San Francisco area because taxpayers (in part) did not want to 100% pay for the new stadium, so now the entire state of Nevada is on the hook for a stadium in Las Vegas.
Apr 17, 2018, 11:23 pm
Noise: One of their planned uses for the stadium is amplified music concerts. All you rich folk on the overlook above are going to listen to B-list bands several times a week too, not just the nearby residents.
Party on Garth: The folks living near the BSU game day drinking fests are fed up with the obnoxious drunks milling about before and after the games. Concerts are pretty much the same. Liquor sales are very important to Boise City.
Bums: Wonder if they’ll leave the stadium toilets open 24/7 so the nearby bum population Bieter is also developing will stop abusing the bushes.
Term Limits are obviously needed.
Apr 17, 2018, 11:35 pm
The County commissioners of all nearby counties had better start participating and opposing Bieter’s tax-free party. Here’s why. If one looks at big cities the core no longer supports itself (too much tax-free stuff) so they have invented gigantic taxing districts many times the size of the city limits reaching dozens of miles from the city. Liberal tax-loving judges overrule cases filed against. That’s how Bieter and his fat cat friends plan to fix the financial mess they are knowingly creating in Boise.
Apr 18, 2018, 3:26 am
Dave don’t be bothering us with this petty topic. We’ve got another episode of American Idol to watch! I think we should just trust Bieter on this. He has our best interests in mind…. right?
Apr 18, 2018, 7:39 am
The St. Luke’s site is an inappropriate space for a stadium. They cannot mitigate the damage to the area with stories. But, where city officials see piles of money, they go blind to the real needs of the community; more grass roots, boring old, manage the problems and do the job type of real needs. They see money at GBAD and CCDC, and they want to have domain over it. There is operational evidence of this. St. Lukes is playing in to this also. They have so much money it is scary.
Lack of common sense and a lack of connection to the citizens does not appear to be important to these officials. There is a constant stretch for the truth too.
Apr 18, 2018, 8:14 am
Did anybody ask where the trolley tracks would pass by, to unload the alt-trans baseball fans? Trolleys and baseball were both part of downtown Boise’s past.
(Geoff Wardle is a good friend; I admire his ability to stay cool under pressure. I’m not a baseball fan, however, and I’m certainly not convinced that any TAXPAYER money should be devoted to this project. If they can do it with private funds, more power to ’em!)
Apr 18, 2018, 9:18 am
And the hits keep coming; CWI to seek $39M levy.
Apr 18, 2018, 1:03 pm
What happened to the idea of putting CWI on the Americana/Shoreline site and the stadium on the Fairview, Boise River site? Much more appropriate siting.
Not only should there be no taxpayer subsidies for a stadium, its developers should also satisfy the mayor’s streetcar desire to get folks to and from stadium events.
Apr 18, 2018, 3:34 pm
Maybe the city and ACHD should create an overlay district where “there would be no further approval of development without upgrading the infrastructure, including roads.” ACHD has proposed something similar to this in the foothills, according to recent neighborhood assoc. meeting with Bruce Wong and Paul Woods.
Apr 18, 2018, 3:46 pm
DJ. Seems like the could get a hefty donation from Luke’s and Al’s since they will be providing the workforce for them.
Apr 18, 2018, 4:14 pm
Could anyone explain to me where we are suddenly getting all this MONEY??
Isn’t the new library going to cost something like 60 Mil? Now a stadium? And then CWI a 39 Mil levy??
And if our city is this flush why aren’t we discussing a transit system first??
Apr 18, 2018, 5:06 pm
CWI levy for health building in Nampa? What about Ada County students, still stuck in nondescript buildings in the SW sprawl? They paid lots of $ mil for a vacant, fenced-off car lot on Main street. Sell that land? Is there a market? Who owns the remainder of the car lot?
Apr 18, 2018, 5:59 pm
Hats off to KTVBs Morgan Boydston for having the integrity, intelligence and courage to go up against Bieter & actually do real investigative broadcast reporting, a practice long abandoned by our local Treasure Valley mainstream media. I think her investigating helped expose this scheme to the broader general public who don’t follow guardian or BoiseDev. More to come I hope.
Apr 18, 2018, 7:41 pm
Rabula: Towards the end of Wardles Responses last night, he was asked that question, Wardle said they had talked with CWI, and made it sound like CWI wouldn’t do a swap—- CWI is the impediment. DOES anyone know if this is true, and who or what would be constraining CWI?
Apr 18, 2018, 9:26 pm
Alternative that should keep Mayor Beiter very happy. 100% of all check marks completed.
The City of Boise owns hundreds of acres of unused and undeveloped property next to the Boise Outlet Mall / Ice World on Eisenman Road. It has Boise owned railroad tracks right next to the property. Parking would not be a problem. Lots of room for developers to build hotels, motels, office buildings. The Mayor could run his trolley out there every 15 minutes on the city owned tracks.
The perfect solution to a wasteland in the desert.
In fact, it would be in the flight path for those Oh-So-Quiet F-35’s that the Mayor wants for Boise. I am sure that those would not affect a pitcher or batter’s performance on a Friday evening.
The land produces no property taxes now so the tax base could only go up.
Anybody else want to help promote this alternative?
Apr 18, 2018, 10:11 pm
Boise Brad- YES!! I’ve been saying the outlet mall site is the best place for a long time now!! Thank you!! We need to keep up that thought and spread the word. Others complain that they can’t ride their bikes there but those comments are being made by those living close to downtown only.
Apr 19, 2018, 11:07 am
The developer donating the land for the stadium to the City is not a developer contribution, they are purposefully improving their returns by eliminating the liability of property taxes. Transfer of the land to the City should not be considered a developer contribution. The City should do what is best for the City, that is keeping the stadium on the property tax paying rolls. For the City to own the land is only a liability for the citizens and a tax shelter for the developer.
I am in favor of a property-tax paying privately funded baseball stadium at that location, or another location.
I can appreciate the crowd’s frustration at the public meeting, but watching the video, the attorney for the developer demonstrated professionalism and civil discourse, some of the crowd was really a mob and should be embarrassed of their behavior. There are appropriate ways to express your opinion other than shouting down and cutting off others who have an opinion different than yours.
Apr 19, 2018, 12:38 pm
JJ is so right about the mob. When you watch the video they looked like a bunch of spoiled college kids. A few weeks ago Tim Cook the CEO of Apple was reported saying “Democracy without discourse is not a democracy.” When I watched the video I thought that Joesph Stalin is smiling from Hell.
Apr 21, 2018, 3:44 pm
I think what you are witnessing is pent up frustration from citizens whose voices are never really heard in these pro forma neighborhood meetings. The people are fed up with developers who couldn’t care less about community.
Apr 21, 2018, 6:55 pm
Each time the participants, St. Lukes, CWI, CCDC, city, fans, business owners, opt to agree with the lies about the benefits of this particular b-ball deal, they have given away their power to influence life in Boise for the good. The mastermind of the deal looks for players that agree with the lies that must be marketed, and they are forever needing the praise of that mastermind. The mastermind cares not so much about the deal, as the acquiescence to the lie, and the power it gives the mastermind.
Apr 22, 2018, 6:41 am
When you look at several of the recent shootings you will find that the shooter has had pent up frustrations and they are fed up…. with some situation.
When you get a mob screaming and yelling and with Idaho’s gun laws it isn’t hard to see what could happen. I doubt that mob will make any difference to the developer. As JJ said there are appropriate ways to express your opinion….
Spend your time and money trying to vote them out of office.
Apr 22, 2018, 9:05 pm
I agree completely with the power of the vote.
The sad thing is, no matter how civil and thoughtful and well reasoned a citizen is at these developer meetings, they are never taken seriously. The deal is already made. This is window dressing. That’s why the public has become so outraged.
Apr 23, 2018, 7:07 pm
I remember a quote from Helen Keller if my old mind remembers…“Do not think of todays failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow.”
James Thomas Hodgkinson became very frustrated with the Republicans ( Have to admit I’m frustrated with all of them) and started shooting at all of them at a baseball team practice while they were on the field. And as you know Steve Scalise was shot. And also as you remember Gabrielle Giffords was shot at a rally.( may have not been politically motived) I could go on with the list if you would like but no need.
In any situation that a person is upset and frustrated many bad things can happen. Any one can bring a gun to a meeting and then they lose control…. or think they can solve the problem with killing some one.
Several years ago in Boise, I remember a miner that was in a deposition with his family about a dispute over a mining claim. He was very frustrated and fed up. He pulled out a gun and shot his family and shot the lawyer( Patrick Miller who still works at Givens Pusley) during the deposition.
I know Patrick and it was a life changer for him….People should calm down and do things the right way. Vote them out of office..Guardian does a good job of calming people down. Since we are about the same age he has seen what happens when mobs get out of control. All it takes is one off balance person.
FYI… If I remember M and M depositions was on Fort Street.. (Correct me if I am wrong Mr. Guardian)
Apr 25, 2018, 11:56 am
If this were such a great idea then corporations and private donors would be lining up to sponsor it. Greenstone would not even have to ask the taxpayers to open up their wallets.
Hawks Memorial Stadium is more than adequate for a short-season A franchise. Just remodel the dam thing since it’s already in a prime location. Downtown is not.