CCDC @ Work 

City's urban renewal agency spruces up Whole Foods and 10 Barrel Brewing Projects

Whole Foods, scheduled to open its Boise location around Thanksgiving, has applied for a $300,000 grant through the Capital City Development Corporation to offset streetscaping costs.

Andrew Crisp

Whole Foods, scheduled to open its Boise location around Thanksgiving, has applied for a $300,000 grant through the Capital City Development Corporation to offset streetscaping costs.

While the City of Boise anxiously awaits two high-profile foodie tenants, the Capital City Development Corporation, the city's urban renewal agency, is assisting in a bit of curb appeal in anticipation of Whole Foods and 10 Barrel Brewing.

The once empty dirt lot at Myrtle Street and Broadway Avenue is quickly filling with what will soon be Whole Foods, with an accompanying Walgreens Pharmacy nearby. Meanwhile a structure that once belonged to the Idaho Department of Lands at Ninth and Bannock streets is evolving into Bend, Ore.-based 10 Barrel Brewing's newest brewpub. Both businesses are moving into locations that currently have little-to-no landscaping.

"I think the curb will be pulled out about 3 feet. We'll put in a couple trees. We'll put in some irrigation obviously, some tree grates, there will be a bench there," Katina Dutton, CCDC development manager, said of the 10 Barrel location.

The small strip of sidewalk will be redone on 10 Barrel's CCDC's dime, while other streetscaping projects taking place around the city--denoted by the blue and green "CCDC @ Work" signs--benefit more than one business.

"We anticipate doing the rest of the north side of Bannock at a later date," said Dutton. "It was sort of a special case, but we had done lots of work there and we wanted to support that new business coming in."

CCDC 10 Barrel owners will contract out the work through a bidding process, with the 10 Barrel folks CCDC picking up the tab.

"Because we had those drawings drawn up when 10 Barrel came to us--the last thing we wanted was for a new business to come in, and then next year come back and tear up their sidewalk," said Dutton.

Instead, CCDC will let 10 Barrel do its portion now using the plans CCDC crafted. The brewing company plans for a walk-up bar area adjacent to the redesigned sidewalk, with the space opening sometime later this summer.

Over at Broadway Avenue and Myrtle Street, Whole Foods has a different arrangement to streetscape its block, including installing a new road connecting Front and Myrtle streets. CCDC Development Director Mike Hall said a grant may help pay for part of Whole Foods' streetscaping.

"It's typical that the developer gets burdened with redeveloping the sidewalk," said Hall.

To make up for that cost, CCDC will consider a Whole Foods grant proposal that would help pay for those improvements, which Hall said isn't uncommon in expensive-to-update downtown areas.

"We try to sort of level the playing field as much as we can, so we have this streetscape grant program to help offset those costs," he said. CCDC will consider appropriating $300,000 for the project.

The large-scale streetscaping plan includes trees spaced 50 feet apart for the length of each street, rows of the LED-powered "historic" street lamps used in the downtown core, bike racks and more. The city calls the style an "urban parkway" for its large width.

"It's essentially a double row of lawn and trees, and a sidewalk. So typically you have the curb, you have an 8-foot lawn strip, you have the sidewalk and then an 8-foot lawn strip beyond that," said Hall.

Part of the streetscape also includes a plaza at the intersection of Myrtle Street and Broadway Avenue, with enough space for a forthcoming art installation.

"It's a very visible corner," he said. "They designed their plaza for an art project--even with electricity and water in the event it's that kind of piece."

CCDC will also consider appropriating public art funds for the space in 2013. Whole Foods is scheduled to open around Thanksgiving.

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