Boise Police will have a downtown station

Teya Vitu//October 29, 2018

Boise Police will have a downtown station

Teya Vitu//October 29, 2018

The Lucky Dog Tavern will be converted into a Boise Police substation. Photo by Teya Vitu.

The Boise Police Department will convert the Lucky Dog Tavern in downtown’s West End into a new substation and microdistrict.

One lieutenant, two sergeants and 23 officers, including seven bicycles officers, will work from the Lucky Dog Tavern property at 2223 W. Fairview Avenue, according to Alison Tate, BPD operations support commander.

Police expect to move into the 4,344-square-foot building in 12 to 18 months, she said.

Tate said BPD had its first discussions with the architect on Oct. 19. Lombard Conrad Architects, with offices just a few blocks from the Lucky Dog, is the project architect. Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate found the property for BPD. A general contractor has not been selected.

The police department has actively sought a downtown station for about three or four years, Tate said.

The city of Boise on Oct. 16 acquired the .85 acre property from Sticknoth 160 LLC for $1.15 million with police impact fee funds with a projected closing date in late November. Lucky Dog Tavern will remain with an “inexpensive” nine-month lease the city offered to give the tavern time to find a new location as architectural and construction documents are drawn up, according to a city news release.

New Path Community Housing’s new building will be across the street from the new Boise police substation on Fairview Avenue. Photo by Teya Vitu.

The substation will be across from the 41-unit New Path Community Housing for the chronically homeless and the 182-room Red Lion Hotel Boise Downtowner.

“As the center of activity starts to shift west, we want to be building our presence there at the start,” Tate said. “The location is absolutely perfect for us.”

She added that the police department also values the parking that comes with the site.

City officials still call the Fairview-Main Street couplet on the West End “minimally developed” but with projects under construction or in plans. These include New Path, Adare Manor Apartments affordable housing, a St. Luke’s orthopedic hospital and possibly a stadium-office-apartment complex and a College of Western Idaho campus.

For the last decade, BPD has covered downtown from police headquarters at City Hall West, west of Maple Grove Road. The bicycle officers currently are based at Willow Lane, near Collister Road.

Police do have small nooks at City Hall downtown and at the Main Street Station bus terminal, but nobody is stationed there.

The new downtown microdistrict is bounded by Broadway, Fort Street, 15th Street and Main Street to Chinden Boulevard in the West End and includes Kathryn Albertson and  Ann Morrison Parks.

“It will allow us to make better use of our officers,” Tate said. “They will be more efficient. This will be a good place for our bike officers.”