St. Luke's

St. Luke's Shoreline campus sold - but not to the stadium developer

UPDATE: News release from Greenstone Properties below

According to deeds recorded with Ada County this morning, two parcels that were to be sold by St. Luke's Health System to Greenstone Properties for a new stadium project have been sold to other parties.

 

The property along the Boise River at 1471 W. Shoreline Drive that was at one point earmarked for condos and commercial space has been instead been sold to RDT Real Estate, which is controlled by Agri Beef president Robert N. Rebholtz, Jr. according to filings with the Idaho Secretary of State.  A representative for Agri Beef said Rebholtz was out of town and unavailable to comment.

Agri Beef's headquarters sites along Americana Blvd., next to the newly-acquired chunk of land.

Earlier this week, Agri Beef filed plans with the City of Boise to demolish the former The Pantry restaurant to build a parking lot on the site. Rebholtz's RDT Properties acquired this parcel after The Pantry closed in 2016.

ALSO READ: 
Boise Sports Park won't happen at Americana and Shoreline, could rise elsewhere

The second, larger property at 1500 W. Shoreline, which is currently home to a variety of functions for St. Luke's Health System was sold to another group - Ameri Shore, LLC according to those deed records. Ameri Shore is controlled by Spokane attorney John D. Munding.  Munding was also unavailable for comment this morning.

Greenstone Properties, LLC president Chris Schoen confirmed today that the stadium project is "headed to another site," but would not elaborate further - citing a news release set for later today

As BoiseDev first reported yesterday, Greenstone is considering a site currently owned by LocalConstruct LLC at Fairview Ave. and Whitewater Park Blvd.

Greenstone News Release

(BOISE) — Greenstone Properties announced today that it has chosen a different location to
build its proposed Boise Sports Park.

Greenstone had been under contract with St. Luke’s Health System to purchase property near
the intersection of Shoreline Drive and Americana Boulevard since March of 2017 as a potential
site for the proposed Boise Sports Park. In recent months, however, Greenstone has also
considered Downtown Boise’s West End neighborhood as a possible location for the sports park
and has recently decided to put its full focus on that area for the project.

“There are more advantages for the sports park in the West End area, including better access
and visibility, with fewer residential buildings and more commercial space in close proximity,”
said Greenstone principal Chris Schoen.

The exact parcels that could ultimately be included in the proposed project have not yet been
finalized, but Schoen commented that “once the location is determined, we look forward to
working with the city and the neighborhood on next steps.”

As a result of this site change, Greenstone also announced today that it has assigned the
purchase contract for the St. Luke’s owned and managed Shoreline/Americana properties to
two other buyers.

The property located at 1471 W. Shoreline has been sold to RDT Real Estate LLC, which owns
property adjacent to this location. The remaining property was acquired by Ameri Shore LLC, an
investor group.

“The Boise Sports Park has engaged and excited many of our residents,” said Boise Mayor David
Bieter. “We’ve long believed that a venue like this would be a great new downtown amenity for
all Boiseans. This is a new opportunity for a part of our downtown that has great potential and
we look forward to seeing the concepts Mr. Schoen and his partners bring forward in the
coming weeks and months.”

St. Luke's asks for exemptions as it readies next phase of Downtown campus project

With road construction and other infrastructure work in full swing at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Boise, the next phase of its multi-year expansion is getting ready to launch.

St Luke's officials have filed plans with the City of Boise for a combined parking garage and central plant - to be located on a block bound by State St., 1st St., Jefferson St. and 2nd St.

It is also planning to build a new shipping/receiving building across Jefferson St.

The land  currently hosts about a dozen converted homes and other buildings used by the Health System for offices and various functions. Some of those buildings, like the Bishop Foote Guest House, are being relocated.

The buildings will be replaced with a six-deck parking structure 

The garage would be six stories tall plus two basement levels, and provide parking for 1,130 vehicles, the number pegged in a 2013 parking demand study commissioned by the hospital system. According to floorplans, it will also include bike storage for 20 cycles, plus a repair area and station for Boise GreenBike. It would be designed to connect to a future medical office plaza that would extend over 1st St.

Site plan. New buildings in blue. Courtesy St. Luke's Health System.

Site plan. New buildings in blue. Courtesy St. Luke's Health System.

The project will need a conditional use permit from the City of Boise. A hearing is set for May 7th at 6 p.m. at Boise City Hall in front of Boise's Planning and Zoning Commission. 

The hospital system is asking for two exemptions for the garage/central plant portion of the project:

  • The height of the garage tower exceeds City of Boise standards for the area by 15 feet due to the height of an elevator tower according to documents filed by St. Luke's and its architect. 
  • The building would also be positioned right up to the right-of-way along Jefferson St. and 2nd St - and part of 1st St.  City guidelines dictate a minimum 20-foot setback. The application letter says the encroachment is needed to fit all the needed equipment in and provide the desired amount parking on the block.
    • St. Luke's says if it isn't permitted to build the structure in the way it has outlined, it would require building up ten stories instead of six. "Making a change like this would likely decrease the efficiency of the garage and would increase time required to get in and out of the garage. Building lower than we currently are would be cost prohibitive, as we are already showing 2 parking levels below grade."

A second building next door on the block bound by Jefferson St., 1st St., Bannock St. and 2nd St. would house shipping and receiving - with rooms for trucks to load and unload equipment for the campus, to be distributed via a network of underground tunnels. SLHS is asking for setback variances for this building as well:

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 1.52.22 PM.png
  • 15 foot encroachment on 2nd St.
    • Requested to "accommodate the turning radius of the semi-trucks and compactor trucks."
    • SLHS says if this is not approved, it would have to flip the building - which would expose loading docks to 2nd St. It has provided a rendering. It also says flipping the building would require a "concrete drive aisle all along street front. The area available would not be adequate for a standard semi’s turn radius which would require smaller trucks making more trips which would dramatically increase the truck traffic on the streets.
  • 20 foot (full) encroachment on Bannock St.
    • Requested to "accommodate for the requirements of bulk medical gas storage." 
    • If not approved, SLHS says it would lose one loading dock, storage space and a generator set. "These would have to be relocated to a future expansion in another part of the campus which would add a level of complexity to the electrical system."
    • A St. Luke's spokesperson tells BoiseDev "(We) redesigned this to be a better neighbor by flipping the delivery area from the outside of the building along the street to the inside. This will quieter, and more attractive from the street, as the area facing the road will look like a typical St. Luke’s brick building."
  • 14-foot encroachment on Jefferson St.
    • SLHS says the City has indicated it is not as "concerned about the setback requirements for internal facing property lines." 

St. Luke's plans to build another downtown Boise hospital - updated with renderings

New renderings filed with the City of Boise show what a new St. Luke's campus on the west side of downtown near the Boise River could look like if approved and built:

PREVIOUS STORY - AUGUST 28: St. Luke's plans to build another downtown Boise hospital

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While St. Luke's Health System works on a total revamp of its historic downtown campus on Bannock St., it has another hospital in Downtown Boise in the works.

SLHS filed a conditional use permit application with the City of Boise for two buildings at 2619 W. Fairview Ave. - a hospital structure and a parking garage.

The hospital building would be four stories high according to renderings, with a five-story parking garage. 

The current dirt lot near 27th Street once housed the Thirftway Home Center and was part of the bustling Fairview Ave. corridor before the completion of the Broadway-Chinden Connector changed traffic patterns in the area 25 years ago this month, leading to decline. This site shouldn't be confused with the nearby Americana & Shoreline location that is a possible future home for a Boise ballpark.

The 27th & Fairview hospital building would have the standard St. Luke's brick, bronze and stucco look. The garage would have space to park more than 700 cars and 68 bicycles - nearly two-thirds more vehicle spaces than is required by the City of Boise. 

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Site plan

St. Luke's says it hasn't yet made a final decision on the project, but communications manager Anita Kissee said the health system is "in the midst of the next Planning and Zoning steps, which includes filing a conditional use permit. "

The CUP notes the location could support outpatient clinic space and a "short-stay inpatient facility with complementary imaging and surgical services." Orthopedic specialty services are also likely to be in the mix, according to SLHS officials. Nearly 4,000 square feet of permeable athletic turf is also planned for the site.

Saint Alphonsus Health System also announced plans for a hospital downtown - just blocks from the main St. Luke's facility

St. Luke's to move historic home, construction office

Courtesy St. Luke's Health System

Courtesy St. Luke's Health System

  • Move a-Foote: St. Luke's Health System is shuffling things around in advance of its big expansion.  The Bishop Foote Guest House will move from its current spot at 2nd and Jefferson to an area over by the Pioneer Cemetery on Ave B.  A separate construction office will also move to the Ave. B site, if the City of Boise signs off.
  • Use and history: The Bishop Foote house was built in 1935. In 1972 it became an outpatient home for adults and has been owned and operated by the hospital for the last 40 years. More than 100,000 people have stayed in the two-story home. 
  • Hey neighbors: St. Luke's will hold a required neighborhood meeting on both buildings at 6 p.m. on May 25th in the Anderson Conference Center.
  • Not-AKA: The Bishop Foote Guest House is not to be confused with The Bishop's House - a home formerly owned by St. Luke's that was built in the late 1890's, and was home to former Episcopal Bishop Foote. That home is now located out by the Old Pen.
  • More to come? Probably. The plans for the downtown hospital show lots of places where homes are now to be used for new facilities. SLHS already owns most if not all of the land.  A consultant for the hospital system said in 2014 of most of the homes: "that the historic context associated with the study area is not considered significant to the history of Boise."  The Bishop Foote house was listed as an exception to the rule.

Cars or no? City, St. Luke's work to find solution to Bannock design

The City of Boise and St. Luke's are trying to decide the future of a current plaza through the Health System's Downtown Boise campus. Don Day/BoiseDev.com

The City of Boise and St. Luke's are trying to decide the future of a current plaza through the Health System's Downtown Boise campus. Don Day/BoiseDev.com

Don Day
BoiseDev.com

St. Luke’s Health System and the City of Boise continued to tangle over the future of Bannock Street through the downtown Boise hospital campus.

During a three-day process designed to resolve conflicts and map out solutions, the two sides worked to build consensus on a wide array of issues regarding the upcoming revamp of the downtown hospital.

The two sides were joined by members of the community - including East End neighbors, an official with CCDC, a high school student and commuters. 

During the sessions, St. Luke's and City of Boise officials were able to find common ground on many design issues during the sessions - but conflict arose several times during a Thursday session attended by BoiseDev about the idea of allowing vehicles to again travel on Bannock St. as they did before 2004 when a single block of the street near 1st St. was closed to cars.

EARLIER: After mayor's disappointment in Bannock St. plan, City & St. Luke's make deal to put off changes

In the spring of 2016, the City of Boise agreed to allow for the closure of nearby Jefferson St., after hearing hours of testimony over several days from folks both in favor of and opposed to the closure.  The hospital says it needed to close Jefferson to facilitate a large expansion project - but many neighbors in the East End complained it would cut off the only east-west access route through the entirety of Downtown.

Bannock St. between MSTI and the "Main Hospital" is current closed to all but pedestrians and cyclists. City officials want to see it opened to include vehicle traffic.

Bannock St. between MSTI and the "Main Hospital" is current closed to all but pedestrians and cyclists. City officials want to see it opened to include vehicle traffic.

As a compromise of sorts, Boise City Council required St. Luke's to give it an easement down Bannock, which is currently closed to traffic.  How that new crossing will function in the future hasn't yet been determined - which is leading to the current conflict.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter strongly advocated for opening up the street to not just bikes - but cars.  His central argument is  limited vehicle use would boost the safety of cyclists on the street.

"I ride this all the time and I have to get off and walk it because no one is cued to a bicycle," he said. 

City council member Elaine Clegg agreed.

“If people know that a car may be there, they will treat that space differently," she said. "I think the pro of having vehicles allowed changes the perception of the space and makes everyone more careful."

The mayor also noted that putting together a plan that gives cars access to Bannock would help with public perception after the contentious public testimony last year that led to the approval of closing Jefferson.

Stakeholders tour the Bannock St. plaza. Photo courtesy St. Luke's Health System

Stakeholders tour the Bannock St. plaza. Photo courtesy St. Luke's Health System

“It’s kind of a moral victory to losing Jefferson," he said. "We have to get a majority of council members (to approve the plan) — and I think this is a big deal towards doing that."

Bieter says he thinks his constituents want to see a way through the campus with the pending closure of Jefferson.

"After all the hours of public testimony and outreach and discussion, the only thing that... threw a bone to people… was the ability to go through this (with cars)."

Peter Lawley with TDG General Contractors, who was hired by St. Luke's to facilitate the discussion - asked if there was a way to get that goodwill without allowing cars to travel the stretch.

 “If we designed it in such a way that we got a lot of community goodwill but didn’t open it up for traffic - does that get you enough goodwill to be able to go back to the community to get that goodwill? Does that get us enough goodwill that we can let go of the car thing?”

“I don’t think it does," Bieter said. "I do believe that you get a better bicycle experience when you allow (cars)."

City officials said that areas like the Basque Block and 8th Street between Main and Bannock show that allowing minimal traffic can lead to a vibrant area with mixed-use.

"I completely appreciate the Basque Block and 8th street and it’s vibrant and you go have dinner there," St. Luke's West Region CEO Kathy Moore said. "I guess the question is, is that what you want for your hospital stay? What we see here on campus (along Bannock)  is people who are struggling and who are facing end of life situations. They are wanting that opportunity to sit and to reflect. "

Moore said she thinks that the community puts as much emphasis on traffic through campus as the ability to have a calm place.

"I struggle with this comparison to the commercial district. People have an expectation of safety when they come on our campus and they need to be safe when they do so," she said.

"With all due respect," Bieter said, "I’m not calling it the same as the Basque Block and 8th Street. "It didn’t freak people out to come to St. Luke's in 2004 - it was just twelve years ago. They didn’t feel mortal danger twelve years ago."

Bieter and Clegg pointed to a new green space that will be created on Jefferson when that street is closed as an area where those types of activities could take place.

“I think it’s unfortunate to limit park space to one place,” Moore said.

“You’re taking out a street though," the mayor said pointedly. "You’re taking out a whole public right way on Jefferson when that street is closed - and it's an area where those types of activities could take place."

St. Luke's officials pointed to the location of Bannock on the campus - with employees, patients and others using the current plaza to move between the main building and the south tower which would create new car/pedestrian conflicts if the stretch were opened up.

Bieter thinks all the goals can be accomplished.

“I think we can do both," he said. "It’s not Jefferson. It’s not going to be like Jefferson in the way that it is now. I think you serve both better. "

Clegg advocated in favor of opening the street to cars - and then gauging the impact.

“Let’s design it to allow cars, to let them use it," she said. "If it’s proven that the cars are such a danger… we’ll cut em off!"

Bieter closed on a conciliatory tone and noted that the two sides made lots of progress, even though there was no agreement on the vehicle issue.

“It’s a big big deal to do this today, and we appreciate it.”

Moore also noted she found value in the dialogue.

"It really is St. Lukes' desire to be a good neighbor. I think we’ve come to a good spot today.  We don’t have to agree on everything, right? But we do have to agree to dialogue and share.

Lawley says Thursday's meetings helped move the process forward.

“There is enough consensus now on the design to move forward and develop some of the details for that design," Lawley said in a statement provided by St. Luke's after the meeting. "We don’t yet have consensus on how the space will operate, and whether those operations are to include vehicles or not, or to allow vehicles but maybe restrict the time of day they can access the space, etc.”

Answers to stadium questions: the sun, taxes, dentists, Broncos and soccer

Monday's announcement that Greenstone Properties has a letter of intent to acquire 11-acres of land from St. Luke's Health System has set social media ablaze (after BoiseDev first posted the story, the site saw a record traffic day).

What, exactly, would Greenstone buy from St. Luke's? What about the dentist?

According to SLHS spokesperson Anita Kissée, they are selling five separate parcels (see map below):

  • The old Kmart site
  • A portion of the old Kmart parking lot that housed an auto center
  • The former Total Woman Fitness parcel across Spa St
  • The old Beehive Salon spot
  • The current Shoreline Center location that sits on the Greenbelt

That leaves several parcels in question - most prominently the current Summit Dental and Agri-Beef buildings.  Of note, both buildings are shown in the aerial rendering provided by Greenstone. BoiseDev has reached out to the property owners, and have not yet heard back.

Greenstone gave this statement to BoiseDev:

We are not in a position to identify any other parcels that are part of our acquisition at this time. We have enough land through the St. Luke's Acquisition to execute the stadium and parcels that we will need to deliver to effect the financial plan to fund the required revenue to fund the bond payments for the public pieces. Understanding that the process to get to ground breaking will be significant and time consuming, we will look for additional parcels that complement the St. Luke's parcels and can make for projects that will work financially and contribute to the mixed use environment that we are seeking to create.

The Agri-Beef building is owned by RDT Real Estate which lists Agri-Beef CEO Robert Rebholtz as its primary owner. Request for comment from Rebholtz has not yet been returned.

The Summit Dental plot is owned by Shoreline Properties, which lists the doctors in the dental practice as its owners.  Request for comment has not yet been returned.

Another building at the corner of River St. and 15th St. carries St. Luke's branding but is currently owned by a coalition of doctors operating under the "OSCI" operating entity.  This parcel is not part of the stadium deal.

The sun! My eyes!

Many folks have looked at the released renderings and expressed concern about the hot summer sun during the Boise Hawks' summer season.

This is already an issue at Memorial Stadium in Garden City - with the sun beating down on spectators on the first baseline, causing a less-than-pleasant experience. 

Jeff Eiseman, Agon Sports President and Partner says though design details aren't fully worked out, they are working to keep the sun at bay.

"The stadium is stacked with club seats and suites on 3rd base side which will provide ample shading," he told BoiseDev.com. "In addition, this does not account for the mass of buildings from the development or the lightpole structures for when the sun is higher. "

Eiseman says they have designed the stadium so that no seats face directly west, and the first baseline looks toward the northwest.

"The sun will not be nearly the issue it is at Memorial Stadium."

Tell me more about the design!

Eiseman tells BoiseDev the field could actually sink down below grade. "We don't know how deep we can go due to the water table.  The field may be lowered and the design will be augmented as we get further along," he said.

He notes that the renderings are just conceptual right now - and will likely change as the process goes along.

In an interview on ESPN Boise Monday, Eiseman teased some other key design elements.

“It’s clearly a thoroughly modern venue, very different than what we have at Memorial Stadium," he told The Drive hosts Alex Gold & Joey Jenikins. "(It will have a) 360-degree wraparound concourse, indoor club space as well as suites. Plus, millions of dollars of LED display technology - and we are going to bring you right on top of the action.”

Yeah, where am I gonna park?

"As part of this there's going to be a $200-million plus ballpark village with a live-work-play environment," Eiseman said on ESPN Boise. "There's also multiple parking structures that will be part of this project."

That looks like a soccer field to me. What about baseball?

Jeff Eiseman told ESPN Boise that renderings for baseball configurations are still being worked on - and they hope to release those in the future.

Could the Hawks move up from short season A?

Eiseman told ESPN Boise that isn't in the plans right now - they need the available dates for other things like soccer, concerts and the like. The Hawks currently play about 36 home games per year, and the USL schedules roughly 12 games at home.

I'm really more into soccer, bub. What's the deal?

"We've probably gotten more questions about soccer than we have baseball," Eiseman told ESPN Boise. "We're going to showcase soccer and the USL like no one else." 

Eiseman said on Twitter that they would cover the dirt infield with "lots of sod" and would employ "a hydraulic mound" to switch between a pitch and a field.

He says they hope to be able to accommodate 7,500 fans in the configuration for soccer. Things like a brand for the team haven't been worked out yet, but Eiseman told ESPN Boise that would be a process that involves the community.

Yeah, OK, when?

Eiseman told ESPN Boise there's still a chance this could be open by the 2019 season if several factors line up. He says 2020 is more likely.

Greenstone's other stadium project in N. Augusta, GA has been in the works since 2012 and is currently set to open by 2018.

What about Boise State?

Greenstone officials as well as Boise City Councilor Scot Ludwig have teased that Boise State could be part of the stadium project.

For now, nothing is set in stone according to Boise State Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing Greg Hahn. 

"Boise State officials have been in on some discussions about the possibilities of a downtown sports facility," Hahn told BoiseDev. "The university has long considered adding baseball as a potential future sport and we have a women's soccer team — university leaders are always interested in expanding opportunities and experiences for students."

But for now, no announcement about the blue & orange playing on the new green field of dreams is imminent.

"We aren't at any decision point on changes in athletics, and haven't been party to any agreements on the facility."

Are my taxes going to go up?

Last month, Ludwig told Jeff Caves "In this case, we're not anticipating any tax increase to pay for this project."

A portion of the stadium project would be financed through public funds.  This potentially would be done through the creation of an urban renewal district and tax increment financing.

TIF "freezes" the tax collection going to the usual entities - like schools, police, fire, roads and the like. They would get the same cash every year that they get now - but any additional funds gathered through increased property values from the project would be diverted to the urban renewal district.

This does mean taxpayers in the rest of the city could pay more. For instance, Boise Schools spokesperson Dan Hollar tells BoiseDev that when another CCDC project - the Central District - sunsets next year, they expect to get nearly a million dollars per year that currently gets funneled to CCDC. 

A new stadium could increase the demand for some services - like, for instance, police protection. Because BPD would get the same amount of funds from the area now as it does in the future, the bill for those extra services would be spread across citizens throughout the city.

What would this new CCDC district look like?

Talk of a new district for the stadium from the Capital City Development Corporation to draw TIF funds and purchase bonds has been talked about, but CCDC Executive Director John Brunelle said nothing is set in stone, yet.

"Early CCDC work has been brief meetings to discuss and take some uninformed attempts at drawing boundaries," he said. "Nothing is ready for board or council review yet, might be a few weeks."

Is a stadium an auditorium?

In yesterday's news release, Greenstone said the Greater Boise Auditorium District could be part of the project.  How that might take place or what form isn't fully baked yet, according to GBAD Executive Director Pat Rice.

"Operating a sports facility is within the District’s statutory mandate," he said - it it can be tricky due to a 2010 Idaho Supreme Court decision. 

"Operating a sports facility is within the District’s statutory mandate, but in 2010 the Idaho Supreme Court decision in the Pocatello case held that an auditorium district is one to build, operate. maintain, market and manage one of the statutorily listed facilities.  The Supreme Court said the use of the word “and” meant a district must do all of those things.  Through the joint powers statute, the District might be able to cooperate with other public entities in doing these things."

Rice says no proposal has been put in front of the GBAD board. 

"There has been over time the suggestion/question as to the District participation at a cash level, but that hasn’t been determined either," he said.

What will become of Memorial Stadium in Garden City?

If the Hawks make this deal and leave their current location along the river in Garden City - what will happen to their current 1980s-era stadium? The ground underneath that facility is owned by Ada County as part of its Expo Idaho complex.

In a statement provided by Ada County Public Information Officer Kate McGwire - the county commissioners say, essentially, it is too soon to tell.

"The Boise Hawks have not included the county in their plans and have not notified us of their intent to vacate their lease. Decisions will be made if and when that happens."

St. Luke's agrees to sell land for downtown stadium

Soccer configuration for soccer stadium at Americana & Shorline

Soccer configuration for soccer stadium at Americana & Shorline

FIRST ON BOISEDEV.COM

 

St. Luke's Health System has agreed to sell a parcel of land it owns at Americana Blvd. and Shoreline Drive in Boise to Greenstone Properties - to be used as a new mixed-use project anchored by a baseball stadium.

The stadium would house the Boise Hawks - currently playing in Memorial Stadium in Garden City, and a potential future soccer team.

ALSO READ: Q&A on what's next for Boise's stadium dream

Terms of the deal to purchase the 11-acre parcel were not immediately disclosed. St. Luke's spokesperson Anita Kissee tells BoiseDev that the parties have signed a non-binding letter of intent and will now work to negotiate the details.

BoiseDev first noted progress on a stadium project in February when we reported Boise's redevelopment agency had budgeted $150,000 in taxpayer dollars to study a stadium downtown. 

“This was a critical piece in putting the stadium and development puzzle together.  We are grateful for the continued friendship and support of St. Luke’s and are excited about working with the city in earnest on the redevelopment of this new urban renewal district," Boise Hakws president Jeff Eiseman said in a prepared statement.

The deal with St. Luke's helps the project clear a major hurdle on its way to becoming a reality. The deal is predicated on the creation of a new urban renewal district to be administered by the Capital City Development Corp. That would allow CCDC to collect taxpayer dollars to make improvements and help fund portions of the stadium project.  The dollars would be taken in through a mechanism known as tax increment financing - allowing any tax dollars drawn from increased property values to be diverted from schools, police and other agencies and funneled to CCDC. 

Greenstone would potentially have to purchase some adjoining properties, and told the Idaho Business Review it was working to do so.

BoiseDev email alert subscribers learned of this story before anyone else. Are you on the list?

Greenstone says it expects investment of $200 million in private funds.

"The Boise Hawks, Greenstone Properties, and St. Luke's Health System have stepped-up in their own respective and important way to make this Multi-Use Stadium closer to reality," Boise City Councilor Scot Ludwig said in a prepared statement. "Now it is time for the City of Boise, CCDC, and GBAD to do the same in keeping with our commitment to preserve and enhance the quality of life Boisean’s (sic) cherish as we grow and seek new economic development opportunities.”  

St. Luke's will move staff and services currently housed at the complex to other properties it owns - including the Washington Group Plaza on Park Blvd. in Boise, near the health system's downtown medical center.

The Boise Hawks currently play in Memorial Stadium in Garden City - an aging stadium on land owned by Ada County.  Agon Sports purchased the team two seasons ago with the intent to move it to a newer, updated stadium.

Rendering of Greenstone's The Ballpark at Hammonds Ferry - planned for N. August, GA

Rendering of Greenstone's The Ballpark at Hammonds Ferry - planned for N. August, GA

Greenstone anticipates the project would also include multi-family housing, office, retail space, parking and a potential future hotel.

Greenstone is also working to build a riverfront stadium in North Augusta, Georgia to house the Augusta Green Jackets. That project has been beset by delays - and has been in the works since 2012. The latest targeted opening for the August project is 2018.

Stadium design

Tod Schultz with Stadia Design describes the project:

“The 14th Street elevation of the ballpark is the Hawk’s Nest, anchored by the central, multi-level tower and dynamic “nest” structure.  It is centered in the soccer pitch.  An open viewing terrace runs from the nest down the first base line and is conceived as flex space.  Pavilions, floating bars, sponsorship zones…fantastic views to the field.  The home plate entrance is designed as a new Boise piazza…it’s a living room for the city to hold concerts, events, and festivals.  When the stadium is used for soccer, the left field wall pads are removed to expose an open-air Club Lounge at field elevation.  It will be filled with passionate fans as players pass through on their exit from the locker room to the pitch…directly on axis with the Hawks nest tower across the park.  Operable glass walls, rooftop experiences akin to Coors Field in Denver and terrace views of the river will make the stadium one of the best in the country.” 

As the city pushes a stadium vision, St. Luke's looks elsewhere

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Leaders with the City of Boise are out pushing the idea of a stadium near the Boise River on land currently owned by St. Luke's Health System on Americana Blvd. 

In recent weeks, BoiseDev continued to dig into this story.  After our initial interest, records requests and post on the story, officials quickly went to the Idaho Statesman and on the radio with a version of what they hope will happen.

Boise city councilor Scot Ludwig told the Statesman the parties involved had an "agreement in principle" with St. Luke's Health System to purchase the property. But that agreement is not binding. 

BoiseDev has learned additional details about one of the other possible property buyers: the State of Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Administration issued a request for proposal last year looking for 100,000-600,000 square feet of office space to lease or purchase, according to Statewide Leasing Manager Linda Miller. Proposals were due in December.

Diane Blume with the Department of Administration confirms St. Luke's was one of the respondents to the RFP - specifying the Americana Blvd. parcel as a suitable option. Blume said the state is "looking at" the property.

St. Luke's Health System Public Relations Manager Anita Kissée confirmed officials with her organization submitted a proposal to the State, but can't confirm further details as the bid process is ongoing.

For the City, CCDC and Greenstone Partners (owner of the Boise Hawks), that "deal in principle" doesn't have any binding effect - and St. Luke's could have other bidders for the land beyond the stadium group and State of Idaho. 

"Hopefully a contract will follow as this land transaction is critical to this project," Ludwig told BoiseDev. "I look forward to moving this matter forward."

Ludwig said any details on the land sale would be between the two parties - Greenstone and St. Luke's, neither of which are commenting on particulars.

Ludwig, the city councilor and member of CCDC, told KTIK radio during an interview a "benevolent St. Luke's" would be key to the deal.  

A public records request to better understand details on the City of Boise's involvement in the project was denied on grounds they are part of helping a business expand in Idaho, which city officials contend is allowed for in state code.

Ludwig declined to answer BoiseDev's question by email about whether the story was pushed forward before a land deal was in place to "build support and/or foil any other interest in the property," saying only "let's hope the land deal gets done so we can move forward to the more difficult checklist on this Project."

For St. Lukes' part, officials are playing the field -- but that doesn't mean it will lead to a ball field.

"At this point, it's premature to comment further, as there is no signed, formal agreement with anyone," Kisssée said. "We look forward to continued engagement and negotiations, and are excited at the prospects and opportunities this property will provide as it meets the needs of the future owner, whomever that ends up being."

BLOCKBUSTER: Plan begins to gel for Downtown Boise stadium

The Idaho Statesman's Sven Berg has the big development news: A stadium is in the works on the former Kmart site on American Blvd. This was one of a few sites speculated about by BoiseDev earlier this week.

Here's his story in full.

The deal is complex - involving St. Luke's Health System, City of Boise, the owners of the Boise Hawks, CCDC and others.

St. Luke's could sell its 11-acre Americana property to the managing partner of the Boise Hawks, Chris Schoen.

Schoen would then donate a portion of the property to the City of Boise. 

A stadium would be built on about 4-acres of the site.

Schoen and his company would build a $60-million mixed-use on the remaining portion of the parcel.

He would donate $1 million towards what is expected to be a $41 million construction cost -- with the Capital City Development Corporation take a loan to pay for construction, according to Berg's reporting. CCDC generally pays off debt obligation on other properties through taxpayer dollars collected via its tax increment financing model. 

St. Luke's says it doesn't have a deal in place to sell the plot, and many many hurdles remain.

The site is unique, near the Boise River along the American Blvd. corridor which has declined in recent years since the opening of the Connector in the 1990s.

Going up: St. Lukes takes steps for new elevators

Photo courtesy St. Luke's Health System

Photo courtesy St. Luke's Health System

St. Luke's Health System's Boise medical center is about to get an uplifting upgrade: more elevators.

The current main public elevator system is often crowded and slow as it services ten stories and several basement levels - busy areas filled with patients, visitors and guests.

To add capacity, workers are actually cutting new holes in each of the floor plates to retrofit two additional lifts across from the current three.  That's caused crews to shuffle things around and barricade the area on each of the hospital's floors.

Director of Architecture and Construction Jeff Hull with St. Luke's says the project is quite involved:

"We are upgrading seven elevators that we installed in the early 90s, four patient/staff, and the three main public elevators," he told BoiseDev.com via a spokesperson.

Work on the additional elevators is already underway.

Then crews will "systematically upgrade the existing seven, one at a time. This work will probably take a couple of years to complete. When done with this project we will have nine brand new elevators that should serve us well into the future."

BSPR: St. Luke's to find new home for iconic tree

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It used to be decorated with Christmas lights each year. It nearly died. The Idaho Statesman named it one of 150 Boise icons. Many feared it would be chopped down.  

Instead, the giant sequoia tree near St. Lukes' Boise campus will be moved to a new home, according to Boise State Public Radio.  

The heath system will spend $300k to move it to nearby Fort Boise. 

The tree has to get out of the way of the hospital's expansion project.