Underdeveloped And Deteriorating, Study Finds Boise Bench Good Area For Urban Renewal

Apr 9, 2019

A possible urban renewal district for the Boise Bench neighborhood would include many of the area's main commercial streets. A third-party study found numerous buildings in the proposed bounds of the district qualify for renewal.
Credit Flickr

As the City of Boise continues to grow, it’s expanding the scope of its urban renewal districts. A swath of the Boise Bench targeted for revitalization is another step closer to landing the designation.

The proposed area for the Bench urban renewal district includes stretches of Vista Avenue, Overland Road, Orchard and Latah Streets. The agency looking to revitalize the area is Capital City Development Corporation – it’s been drafting ideas for the project since 2016.


If the region were to become an urban renewal district, some property taxes levied would essentially be frozen in place. Any subsequent increase in property values – which would mean more tax – would go to CCDC to fund projects in the zone.

“Ultimately the goal of CCDC and the City of Boise is to bring change to that part of town,” says Don Day.

He’s the publisher of BoiseDev.com and has tracked the urban renewal district plan for years. Day says a study from a consultant handed over to CCDC this week found over half the properties in the area being looked at contain some sort of deterioration that qualifies them for renewal.

According to Day, CCDC has identified several large parcels that are underdeveloped.

“There’s the Hillcrest Shopping Center, which is a large parking lot,” says Day. “A big focus is the Boise tank farm. City leaders are hoping to figure out a way to actually move the tank farm out of the central bench and to the airport. A CCDC urban renewal area could help make that happen.”

There are still several steps in the process before the Bench urban renewal district comes into existence.

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