Thursday, July 25, 2013

GBAD Advances Talks With Idaho Shakespeare Festival About Possible Macy's Plans

Posted By on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 1:07 PM

The Greater Boise Auditorium District Board of Directors acknowledged Thursday that it wants to further discussions with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival to possibly move into the former Macy's building at 10th and Idaho streets in downtown Boise.

In June, Boise Weekly reported that GBAD met in executive session with representatives from ISF about the possibility of moving into the Macy's building, which has sat empty since March 2010. BW first reported in November 2012 about ISF's desire to create a new downtown headquarters and performance space.

Now GBAD has publicly acknowledged that AMS Planning and Research has been drawn into the possible project and that a future meeting on the effort could occur within the next month.

"[GBAD] is the linchpin for this project," GBAD Board Member Jim Walker said at Thursday's session.

CSHQA has plans to build approximately 62 apartments on the second through fifth floors of the Macy's building, leaving the main floor and mezzanine open for a high-profile project, such as the proposal from the Shakespeare festival.

"This would give [ISF] a permanent home and they have a huge education program during the day, which would bring a lot of people into that area every day," CSHQA Principal Emeritus Jeff Shneider told BW in May.

Shakespeare Festival officials have been tight-lipped about the proposal, but in November 2012, ISF's Producing Artistic Director Charlie Fee told BW that the project was "very exciting."

"Workforce housing creates a component in downtown Boise that's clearly needed and benefits everyone," said Fee. "To be able to combine that idea with a performance space would be an exciting, visionary project for the city."

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