Trader Joe’s, a national grocery store, will open a downtown location in 2014. The grocer will open in a 13,200-square-foot building planned on the southeast corner of Capitol Boulevard and Front Street.
Alison Mochizuki, director of public relations for the company, confirmed the store is coming to Boise but did not provide more details on the new store in a March 21 email.
Boise Mayor David Bieter gave more credence to the persistent rumor that Trader Joe’s could be opening a grocery store in downtown Boise.
“I had a conversation yesterday that Trader Joe’s is coming to Boise. That’s a done deal,” Bieter said, speaking to the Boise Young Professionals March 21.
Trader Joe’s has been rumored as a potential tenant for the largest of the four buildings on the Capitol and Front site since plans were filed for the project in late November 2012. Bryan Vaughn with Hawkins Companies, the developer of the block, did not respond to a request for comment about the Trader Joe’s announcement.
The Capitol and Front development has all of its entitlements though a building permit has yet to be filed, according to Cody Riddle, planning manager for the city of Boise Planning and Development Services. It will include three smaller buildings, including one with a drive-thru, as well as on-site parking. Currently the downtown block is used as parking.
While the California-based grocer has kept mum on the Boise rumors until now, fans of the store have been active online. Jared Buff, who runs the Bring Trader Joe’s to Boise! Facebook fan page, said people who go to the stores in other states will certainly go to the Boise store.
“I don’t think they’ll have any issues with being able to support one store, maybe two,” said Buff, whose page has 5,200 fans. Buff, who grew up in Idaho, said he visited Trader Joe’s when he lived in other states and now brings back Trader Joe’s goodies when he visits Portland or San Francisco. He started the Facebook page two years ago, before other grocers like Whole Foods Market, Natural Grocers and Rosauer’s came to the Treasure Valley.
“I felt we needed an alternative. I love the Boise Co-op, but a little bit of competition to bring their prices down would be good,” Buff said. “I felt like Boise needed something else.”
Trader Joe’s has more than 390 stores in 35 states, including Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Washington. The company has more than 2,000 unique grocery items in its store label.