Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Simplots Scale Back JUMP

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 11:29 PM

The Simplot family has scaled back its design for Jack's Urban Meeting Place, submitting a package to the city and Capital City Development Corp. that looks much more like the urban park promised in the first release.

The new design came up at a Boise City Council meeting tonight, though we were not there to witness it ourselves. At issue was the city's willingness to vacate its right of way along Borah Street, a defunct road that runs east-west through the site. The Ada County Highway District will also need to sign off on the old roadway.

Below are some photos of the new design that can be found in the council's board packet [pdf].

Originally the plan was to hem in the four block, 7.5 acre area with buildings that many described as fortress-like. The park was to be in the interior of what amounted to a wall of office buildings and parking ramps.

After consultation with the city—and a fairly negative reception from city officials—the Simplots went back to the drawing board and came up with a much more park-like design. The new Simplot Corp. HQ is still present. But the only other buildings are a round Simplot Foundation building that, according to an August 2009 traffic impact study prepared for the developer, includes: an office/business area, industrial studio (glass, woodworking, metal shop, etc.), movement studio (open area for dance, yoga, etc.), arts and crafts studio, "Artist in Residence" studio, animation/multi-media studio (electronics), music recording studio, kitchen studio teen center and gallery.

Most of the parking is moved underground, with a single level above ground parking structure to house many of the family antique tractors, one of the largest tractor collections in the world.

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