Boise city leaders and developers turned some earth the morning of Sept. 22 at Parcel B
—a 5-acre property near the I-84 Connector that is set to become what they're already calling "Pioneer Crossing."
"Right here is the Pioneer Walkway," said Gardner Company Chief Operations Officer Tommy Ahlquist. "We thought, 'Why not call this Pioneer Crossing?'"
The development will include an almost 650-space parking garage, as well as a 150-room Hilton Garden Inn and 132,000-square-foot office building. Also sharing space in Pioneer Crossing will be a restaurant; retail space; and the offices of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, and the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Construction is expected to last 18 months, with a tentative completion date of March 2018.
The road to Pioneer Crossing has been long. According to Ahlquist, it began when Gardner Company undertook development of the Eighth and Main building and worked with the city of Boise to construct its downtown multi-modal transit and convention centers—now known as Main Street Station and City Center Plaza.
The years of downtown development and construction paved the way for Gardner Company to purchase and begin work on Parcel B, but the road hasn't been smooth, with project stakeholders hitting
roadblocks with the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission in 2015. Those hiccups were overcome, however, and the project was allowed to move forward.
Gardner President Christian Gardner said the role his company has played in developing downtown Boise has made him wish the company played a larger part sooner.
"I feel like we're trying to catch up for lost time, and we really need to do more," he said.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter echoed that sentiment, adding he is looking forward to discussing future development plans with the company.
"If [Gardner Company] didn't exist, we'd have needed to invent them," he said.