City Center Plaza Relocates Bus Stages, Delays City Hall Plaza Renovation 

Plus, Gardner Company is looking for special exceptions from the city's Design Review Committee for signs that would be considerably higher and bigger for the four buildings.

More accommodations for City Center Plaza: bigger signs and pushing buses to City Hall.

Harrison Berry

More accommodations for City Center Plaza: bigger signs and pushing buses to City Hall.

What's in a name? Plenty, when it comes to the City Center Plaza project, which has carved out a huge footprint in Boise's downtown core to make way for four distinct elements: a renovated U.S. Bank Plaza; the nine-story Clearwater Building, to be anchored by Clearwater Analytics and Boise State University; an expansion of the Boise Centre; and a subterranean transit facility, to be operated by Valley Regional Transit.

Now the developer, Gardner Company, is looking for special exceptions from the city's Design Review Committee for signs that would be considerably higher and bigger for the four buildings. The company also wants more signs than what City Code traditionally allows. According to a letter to the city, Gardner says the signs are "necessary to clearly identify the locations." Included in the art designs submitted to the city are familiar logos for Boise State and Clearwater, but they also include a large ground-floor sign for a Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar that would occupy the first floor of the Clearwater Building.

Meanwhile, the City Center Plaza project began pushing more VRT buses over to Idaho Street, but retailers "experienced conflicts between shoppers and transit riders," according to the Capital City Development Corporation. VRT considered a number of other options, including Bannock Street (which did not meet ADA requirements); Ninth Street (which saw bus mirrors being knocked off by delivery trucks because of the narrow fit); and Grove Street (which is too far away from Idaho Street for riders to make connections).

Ultimately, VRT has decided to relocate the buses to the front of City Hall for the remainder of the City Center Plaza construction. The shift is expected to be official on Monday, Nov. 24.

Originally, CCDC had expected to complete more than a half-million dollars in streetscape improvements for the front of City Hall, as part of the City Hall plaza renovation. That project has been postponed until August 2016 at the earliest.

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