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"There could be changes in the wind."

When the Capital City Development Corporation announced its preference earlier this month for how it would like to see a prime piece of Boise real estate--framed by Fulton, River, Eighth and Ninth streets--come to life, perhaps no one was more interested than the Boise Public Library, the proposed condo and retail development's new neighbor.

The development, designed by Boise-based RMH (BW, News, Boise's Next Big Thing," March 12, 2014), would see two separate condominium/retail buildings, divided by a shaded walkway serving as a pedestrian gateway from the Boise Greenbelt, through BoDo and into Boise's downtown core.

"There could be changes in the wind at that location," CCDC Executive Director John Brunelle told Boise Weekly.

In a March 5 memo to his own board of trustees, Boise Public Library Director Kevin Booe wrote that the future of the Ninth and River site "will determine how the library's footprint should be developed."

But changing a high-profile footprint takes time--and money. Which is why the Boise City Council is moving $70,000 from its general fund, into the "Main Library Redesign Capital Project." The money will help finance a process with a company called Architectural Nexus "to prepare options for a new main library pro forma building program."

"Architectural Nexus is a Salt Lake City architectural firm that we've retained to work on a project for us," Booe told BW.

BW has been chronicling the many conversations regarding the need for a new library for a few years now (BW, News, "Something's Got to Give," May 18, 2011). Major repairs and maintenance continue to pile up at the Capitol Street location, which in the 1970s targeted a Boise population of only 75,000.

"We're examining every and any option to either expand, renovate or create a new main library facility," Booe told BW.

As for just how much a new main library would cost, a consultant estimated in 2000 that it would cost $40 million to build a new 185,000-square-foot facility. In 2010, the idea for a new main library resurfaced, but by then, the projected construction cost had ballooned to $118 million.

"We're in the beginning stages," cautioned Booe, who added that the library was particularly intrigued by CCDC's announcement regarding the proposal for Eighth and River streets.

"We're certainly interested in, and applaud any effort that can help spark interest in this corridor," he said. "We're looking forward to being a good neighbor."

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