Downtown Boise soccer/baseball stadium developer Chris Schoen has warmed up to the idea of moving his $70 million stadium-residential-office-retail project to the proposed College of Western Idaho campus site at Main Street and Whitewater Park Boulevard.
An anonymous suggestion last fall to Boise Mayor David Bieter floated the idea of CWI swapping its 10.33-acre Whitewater Park property alongside the Boise River for the 11-acre St. Luke’s Business Center property at Americana and Shoreline Drive.
St. Luke’s is observing from the sidelines.
“We are still under contract to sell Shoreline to Greenstone,” St. Luke’s spokeswoman Anita Kissée said. “From our perspective, nothing is different.”
The sale is scheduled to close in October, she added. Greenstone Properties is an Atlanta real estate development company where Schoen is a managing director.
Schoen and CWI President Bert Glandon were both willing to explore the swap, while the stadium opposition group Concerned Boise Taxpayers still opposes using public funding for a stadium without a public vote.
Meanwhile, Schoen is focusing on the feasibility of the CWI site.
“Yes, we are still pursuing the CWI site,” Schoen told the Idaho Business Review. “We hope to make a determination in the next two to three weeks.”
Schoen initially proposed for the St. Luke’s site a 5,000-plus-seat stadium overlooked by a four-story, 60-unit apartment-and-retail structure and a 150,000-square-foot office building. Between Americana and the Boise River, he outlined 40,000 square feet of retail and 240 apartments.
“It would be a similar program to the other site: office, retail, residential and other potential uses that would provide TIF revenue to pay back the city bonds,” Schoen said. “Same strategies, same basic components. That site has good advantages. The St. Luke’s site has good advantages.”
Schoen seeks a $27 million bond from the Capital City Development Corp., the city’s urban renewal agency that would be funded with tax-increment financing paid back with increased property tax revenue from the project.