Main-Fairview couplet is a new potential new stadium site – or farther west

Teya Vitu//July 27, 2018

Main-Fairview couplet is a new potential new stadium site – or farther west

Teya Vitu//July 27, 2018

The Boise Sports Park would have surrounding office, residential and retail no matter where it’s built. File art.

The two locations considered for a downtown Boise baseball stadium for months and years are now off the table.

Stadium developer Chris Schoen has backed away from the St. Luke’s (former Kmart) property at Americana and Shoreline and also the 10.3-acre site that the College of Western Idaho owns at Main Street and Whitewater Park Boulevard.

But his focus remains on the West End, in particular, the undeveloped properties between and along the Main and Fairview couplet.

“There are a number of large parcels that you can put together that are contiguous,” Schoen said. “We need 10 to 12 acres. They don’t all have to be contiguous.”

Schoen and LocalConstruct CEO Casey Lynch confirm the two have spoken about Schoen potentially acquiring LocalConstruct’s 6.6 acres between Main and Fairview at Whitewater Park Boulevard. LocalConstruct has proposed a 223-unit apartment complex for that property but not moved forward with the project.

“I would like to be in a position in four to eight weeks with an announcement that we have a site nailed down,” Schoen said.

All the talk so far over two years has been about a downtown Boise stadium. For the first time, Schoen hints at the possibility he “may have to go a little further west.” A public contingent in the past year has lobbied for the stadium to be farther from downtown.

“The further west you get from downtown, there are much larger parcels available,” Schoen said. “We can still create a terrific destination.”

But Schoen said for now he is still fully focused on the West End’s Main-Fairview corridor.

He still fully intends to develop a mixed-use complex with office, residential and retail surrounding the stadium and intended to have views into the stadium. The mixed-use element provide the tax increment  revenue to pay for the stadium, he said.

Like the stadiums Schoen built in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Augusta, Georgia, the Boise Sports Park will be a park with public access to the concourse, berms and seats when games are not scheduled.

The Fairview-Main corridor feeds directly to and from The Connector. A public contingent in the past year had complained that access to and from the Americana and Shoreline site was difficult.

Schoen had no cost estimate for the latest iteration of the project, which would be the new home of the Boise Hawks minor league baseball team, which Schoen co-owns, and a new United Soccer League professional team. USL is just one level down from Major League Soccer, the top U.S. soccer league. USL is bullish on Boise.

“We have a chance to still make the 2020 season,” Schoen said. “We have to make things happen in a hurry. (USL) are working with us if we have to go to 2012 but the goal is still 2020.”