County

Ada Officials Scammed By Developer

A GUARDIAN reader expressed concerns with the Tommy Ahlquist-Greenstone attempt to corner the market on Expo Idaho (Fairgrounds) to the Ada County Development Services.

The reader got this well reasoned and measured response Monday:

First and foremost, I want to make the following very clear: the co-chairs did NOT meet with Tommy Alquist’s company, nor have they formally heard any proposals from any private developers. BVA reached out to the committee wanting to present, and the committee declined, stating it would not be appropriate at this time, as the committee is still in the middle of their process. We invited BVA to submit comment through our project e-mail like everyone else.

Prior to our meeting with the committee this week, the co-chairs have been meeting with some key informants identified by the committee as groups they wanted more information from. One of those groups is the Hawks. When the team reached out to set up the meeting with the Hawks, they asked if BVA could come present this plan. The co-chairs again told them no, and that they only wanted to hear from the Hawks.

When the co-chairs joined the meeting on Friday, the Hawks had invited BVA to join and present, unbeknownst to us. In the interview, which you can find here, the co-chairs clearly state that they are not there to hear a development proposal. Throughout the meeting, they reiterate this and focus on the Hawks and their current stadium. They did not allow Tommy Alquist and his team to present their proposal, but Alquist had already reached out to reporters and told them he was presenting to us, so unfortunately, the damage was already done before we even knew about it.

This committee is committed to a public process, which they will reiterate at their meeting on Wednesday. The public is welcome to comment through the established process above by e-mailing our project e-mail, as you have done. It is very frustrating that BVA has tried to side-step this process by talking to the press and coming uninvited to our meetings, and I am sorry if it has appeared that our process has been biased or unfair; we are working very hard to keep that from happening. We are not considering this proposal at this time, and will not consider any private development proposals until the public has indicated what they would like to see on the property.

Brianna Bustos
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Ada County Development Services

Comments & Discussion

16 comments for “Ada Officials Scammed By Developer”

  1. Patrick Craig
    Aug 24, 2020, 4:57 pm

    Ever since fake conservative Tommy Alquist split the vote and put Otter clone Brad Little into the Governor’s office, it seems that he can get any permit he wants, and build anything he wants. Was there a quid pro quo for Alquist to keep Labrador from a one-on-one with Little? Does he now think that he can walk into any planning meeting, lay his plans on the table and get permitted? I think an investigative reporter might want to look into how Alquist went from an unknown health worker to the biggest developer in the Treasure Valley.

  2. Watch the interview online. Developer managed to get a few of his slides up to view, while claiming they were only talking about the stadium. Complaining that the facility is outdated – not the publics problem if they failed to invest any of their profits into upgrades over the years. They go on to say “Our vision” – as though this is their land.

    This is the citizens land and needs to be the citizens vision first and foremost.

  3. Concerned Neighbor
    Aug 25, 2020, 10:53 am

    Simple question – why didn’t they eject Ahlquist from the meeting?
    Live sports is dying everywhere, and not just due to the Wuhan virus. We don’t need the Hawks. We also don’t need a museum. Use the fairgrounds for its intended purpose – a county gathering place with rotating events.

  4. Got to hand to Alquist for trying to push a deal through. He does get projects DONE!Still, I’m glad he wasn’t able to present his proposal.

  5. Eamonn Harter
    Aug 25, 2020, 1:05 pm

    Tommy Boy doesn’t seem pure as the wind-driven snow as he presented himself to the voters in 2018. He also profited quite handsomely from the SBA PPP loan program. Sad.

  6. Another Developer
    Aug 25, 2020, 3:39 pm

    I am also a developer with interest in this property. While I appreciate the County feeling duped, they still allowed BVA to stay at the meeting and apparently present some of their vision.

    I now have a competitive disadvantage in any future public solicitation because the County allowed preferential early access for BVA to County decision makers. I expect the same opportunity provided to BVA.

    EDITOR NOTE–Developer II, try for a secret meet with GBAD. They say if you talk property it is OK.

  7. Why is it so hard for elected, appointed, or hired people in Boise to just say “no” and follow the laws?

  8. xx these people you speak of are elected, appointed or hired PUBLIC SERVANTS. Their pay check comes from the public. WHY DO WE CONTINUE TO VOTE THEM IN?
    Tommy Boy is a greedy developer groomed with the help of elected public servant Dave Bieter, at least that is how he comes across.

    EDITOR NOTE–On the face of it we have to reserve judgement on the politicos. They seem to be on the side of the citizens on this one so far. Tommy indeed made a move to get an inside position and so far it failed.

  9. This isn’t exactly what occurred last Friday. As the representative for the Hawks, I was told at the start of the call that the committee wished only to discuss the Hawks and Memorial Stadium.

    We respected those wishes, the only time I deviated from that was to use context to answer questions from the committee that were best reflected in images.

    I will own that I had BVA join me on the call as I thought it would be additive should questions arise that they could address. This was not some subterfuge or a stated end-around.

    We respect the committee and the process, but our only sin in this instance wasn’t clearly understanding the intent of the call prior to the meeting.

  10. Jeff – way to sneak BVA in!

    BVA has NOTHING to do with the current operations of the stadium or the Hawks.

    There was NO REASON to even invite BVA tot he call unless YOU WANTED THEM THERE!!!

    Your sin was having them there at all!!

  11. BVA and Jeff (for the Hawks) were told “no” by Ada County Development Services twice before this meeting took place. I am choosing to believe the public is being told the truth by the public servants on this one. Although I do wish Ada County Development Services had held firm to their initial position and said “no” a third time.

    What part of “no” does BVA not understand?

    GBAD should have said no to BVA joining the executive session, as BVA probably would not have wanted any outsiders sitting in on any executive session they might have with GBAD.

  12. Maybe the BVA should be exempt from ANY project on this site? Teach developers a lesson? Or is Tommy the only person capable?

  13. That was quite a write up the Statesman gave Ahlquist to advertise his “proposal”. I thought it was really condescending of him to say something like “now is the time”, or the “writing is on the wall” and “a come to Jesus”. He does not have to save the Hawks. GBAD can’t save them either – they would have to run and maintain and promote (the ands) and that is not what they do. I suggest a proposal that remodels the existing stadium that adds another level of seating along the 3rd base line and 1st base line, and that the street into the back of the track be moved to allow space for that. That field is really beautifully placed to share the foothills vies with the public from the stands. Also, the idea of single family housing is incompatible with the “fairgrounds” and a stadium. (Remember Perry Swisher.) That fairgrounds “enterprise zone” and parking is a good place to have a county fairgrounds for generations to come. Invite an Indian tribe to operate the track with historical machines.

  14. This is how Ahlquist works. When he goes into a meeting with city, county, regulators, etc. it is with the intention of telling everyone how it’s going to go, not asking permission.
    The press release was an end run.

  15. Little Used Stadium
    Sep 4, 2020, 11:39 am

    If BSU is going to build a stadium just move everything there.

    If you don’t the stadium will sit empty and unused 95% of the time.

    There is no need for two stadium.

  16. Mike Davidson
    Sep 7, 2020, 10:41 am

    Yes, remodel the existing stadium, Leave the RV park. Minor league baseball is an affordable way for family entertainment in the valley. Or is this land just too valuable as a upscale development that only the wealthy can afford and put a gate up to keep the riff raff out.

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