The Capital City Development Corp. has bought the Idaho Sporting Goods building and parking lot at 10th and State streets for $2.1 million for future redevelopment.
The CCDC Board of Commissioners approved the purchase Dec. 20. The sale is expected to close in early January, CCDC Executive Director John Brunelle said.
Idaho Sporting Goods, Idaho Sporting Goods Screen Print & Embroidery and Boise Greenbike, the bike sharing program, will remain tenants at least until their leases expire, Brunelle said.
“Leases will all be honored,” he said. “It’s not our intention to clear the building.”
“We’re not closing or anything,” said Pat Brady, who sold the Idaho Sporting Goods business to Dallas-based BSN Sports in 2016 but retained ownership of the property through Idaho Sporting Goods Co.
The two-story, 16,692-square-foot building was built in 1948. Future redevelopment could involve readaptive use of the existing building or demolition. The latter occurred with an earlier CCDC project nearby, where the Watercooler building was demolished to make way for the construction of the Watercooler Apartments.
“What we see is a great location for redevelopment because of the proximity of the central business district, the state Capitol and the YMCA,” Brunelle said.
The Idaho Sporting Goods sale came after a few months of CCDC approaches via brokers to about a half dozen property owners between State and Jefferson streets and Ninth and 12th streets. More than half of the property in that quadrant is being used for surface parking lots, Brunelle noted.
This CCDC purchase is within the Westside urban renewal district, composed of 144 acres mostly between Ninth and 16th and Grove and Washington streets. Surface parking prime for redevelopment dominates on the Westside.
“We’re hopeful to get on more serious conversation started (with another property owner),” Brunelle said.
The Idaho Sporting Goods building is two blocks west of the Capitol.
“This is kind of a rare opportunity,” said CCDC Commissioner David Bieter, who is also Boise’s mayor. “It sets up some interesting possibilities.”
Brunelle said CCDC has no projects in mind and that office, retail and residential are possible. The agency would seek a public/private partnership with a developer, as it did with CCDC-owned properties that became the Watercooler Apartments and The Afton condos.
“By us having a corner property, it sets us up for conversations,” Brunelle said.
CCDC owns five other properties earmarked for redevelopment, but Idaho Sporting Goods is the only one available for new projects. Three already are earmarked for the Ash Street apartments, the second phase of The Afton condos and a proposed hotel/garage on Front Street. The other two are a tiny sliver between 10th and 11th streets and the historic Hayman House, where historic interpretative usage is expected.
The Ada County Assessor assesses the Idaho Sporting Goods property at $1.237 million but Langston & Associates appraised the .39-acre parcel at $2.2 million with the sale at $2.1 million. In Idaho, assessed and appraised values are typically close.
“With commercial properties, it’s common that those don’t necessarily align,” Brunelle said about assessed and appraised values. “We feel good about this price.”
CCDC didn’t give much public notice for Idaho Sporting Goods purchase
The Idaho Sporting Goods building was purchased at a special board meeting of the Capital City Board of Commissioner meeting announced just 24 hours before the meeting.
The meeting was publically posted as “authorizing purchase of property within Westside District,” but the property was not publicly identified until the morning of the 2 p.m. meeting on Dec. 20.
The Idaho Open meeting law requires at least 24 hours notice of a special meeting and specific items to be discussed. CCDC’s last-minute announcement of the minutes and release of the purchase property appears to meet open meeting law requirements, said Betsy Z. Russell, president of the Idaho Press Club.
“The more troublesome thing here is that the agency appears to be skating very close to the line with the most minimal possible compliance with the notice provisions of the Open Meeting Law,” Russell said. “They could do better.”
CCDC Executive Director John Brunelle said real estate matters are discussed in executive session and details do not need to be revealed in advance.
“It’s just our choice,” Brunelle said. “That’s not required. We just adhere to the statutes and rules.”