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  #1  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 5:46 AM
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Boise: JUMP/Simplot World Headquarters

In order to keep the discussion fluid, and respect the conversation in the general projects thread, I've started this thread for discussion of Jack's place...



The following is from the Idahostatesman:

The idea for a Downtown parkscape that would offer something for everyone has been in the works for the past 10 years, said Simproject spokesman David Cuoio.

"J.R. had the idea for an agriculture museum long ago," Cuoio said. "Over the past decade, the family thought about it ... and it has expanded into a broader concept that appeals to people of all ages."

The late J.R. Simplot was an Idaho farm boy who became a billionaire, founding what became one of the world's largest agribusiness companies.

He died a year ago on Monday.

Jack's Urban Meeting Place, named in Simplot's honor, will occupy a nearly vacant four-block area between Front and Myrtle streets and Ninth and 11th streets in Downtown Boise.

It's an area of town where, on many nights, young people can be seen smoking with their friends on the abandoned cement blocks. Most of the area is used for parking.

Private funds from the Simplot Family Foundation will pay for the project. Construction is set to begin in spring 2010. It will cost more than $100 million and will provide more than 1,000 jobs, Cuoio said. By comparison, BoDo cost $60 million to build, and the LEED-certified Banner Bank Building in Downtown Boise was built for around $20 million. Hoffman Construction Co. in Portland will handle the project, but Ketchum architect Susan Desko has created some of the special design elements.

"Most of the money will be staying in the area and going to Idaho subcontractors and employees,"Cuoio said.

It is expected to take two and a half to three years to complete, he said.

"I'm excited that at such a critical time in the national economy the Simplots are bringing a project of this magnitude," Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said Friday afternoon. "I am grateful to them for committing their energy and resources to improving Downtown Boise by creating new life on a stretch of blocks that is currently underutilized."

The family already owns most of the land, and the warehouses along Ninth Street will be taken down, Cuoio said. The building that houses the Emerald Club, one of Idaho's oldest gay clubs, will be demolished in January, he said.

One landowner may not be selling his property.

"It's uncertain what will happen with that little parcel," he said.

The project will go through the normal process of permitting and design review, said Adam Park, spokesman for Bieter.

There has been talk over the years of linking the project to a new convention center, and about expanding the Discovery Center and incorporating it into Simplot's vision of an agriculture museum, but the projects have gone their separate ways.

A 4-acre park will form the heart of Jack's Urban Meeting Place. The building's structure, shaped like a pointed oval, will form a perimeter around the park.

"It will be very open, light and airy," Cuoio said of the building.

Jack's Urban Meeting Place also will include studio space for artists and venues for gatherings.

"I think it's an extremely positive evolution on a number of fronts," said Phil Kushlan, executive director of Capital City Development Corporation.

The timing is good, and the psychological benefits of having the commitment of a project like this, in addition to the jobs that are created, will help Boiseans weather the rocky economy, Kushlan said.

"There is no higher gift to the community," he said.

FEATURES:

Some details aren't final, but the Simplots are planning space for:

•A 4-acre park.

• An amphitheater for live events that will have dinner seating for more than 500 and theater-style seating for nearly 1,200.

• A sculpture garden will display a collection of antique tractors and other items, in keeping with J.R. Simplot's idea for an agriculture museum.

• Studio space for professional and amateur artists.

• A variety of outdoor and indoor venues for all types of gatherings, including classes, dinners and weddings.

• The building also may house the headquarters of the J.R Simplot Co., but those details still are being worked out.


Bethann Stewart: 377-6393

Statesman reporter Kathleen Kreller contributed to this report.

Last edited by Cottonwood; May 20, 2013 at 7:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 5:54 AM
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this project is slated to start in the spring... it's funded and ready to go... it's been in the works for 10 years... it's been kept under wraps quite well. lol..
anyway.. since construction is going to take atleast 2-3 years.. it's own thread is warranted...I suspect we will see updated renderings as it enters design review.. so we should keep it all in here so that it's easily accessible...

Ohh Snap!
it's a go!

woot woot!
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  #3  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 6:46 AM
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The design looks pretty cool! But, I don't get what the project is for...an urban park/agriculture museum/whatever???? It sounds really vague, undefined, or just not cohesive or sustainable. Who would want to go to an agriculture museum in a downtown location? The urban park thing might work, but it could end up being a very unused space in downtown like a lot of failed urban plazas.
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 6:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post
The design looks pretty cool! But, I don't get what the project is for...an urban park/agriculture museum/whatever???? It sounds really vague, undefined, or just not cohesive or sustainable. Who would want to go to an agriculture museum in a downtown location? The urban park thing might work, but it could end up being a very unused space in downtown like a lot of failed urban plazas.
it is pretty vague right now.. we don't even know the official height of it yet.. but by the rendering it looks to be over 200ft... and the perimeter part is actually suspended in the air off the ground 26 feet. It's been all over the news lately.
It is suppose to encompass a lot of different things.. boise's existing convention center is on the other side of 9th street from this developement...
and the ADDITIONAL new convention center and hotel combo are to be on the opposite side of this project across 11th street...
It says that it is to incorporate dining halls, classrooms, an outdoor ampitheatre, as well as meeting space, It also looks to have room for smaller individualized convention space as well...
we will know more later this summer I'm sure, as it is suppose to break ground in the spring of next year... that only gives it a year to get through the design review process.. which could very well change it up a bit...
but there's no mistake about it.. it's huge.. If you know that chunk of land in its context.. it is going to look like a massive complex as you roll into town on the connector freeway.. Front and myrtle are both 5 lane one way couplets where freeway divides and slows into city streetscape..
I'm excited to see future renderings.. because there is very probable talk of incorporating Simplot's corporate headquarters into it as well...

Last edited by Boiseguy; May 26, 2009 at 7:13 AM.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 8:51 AM
leftopolis leftopolis is offline
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Looking forward to more detailed info--right now, I suppose the most exciting thing is that it's a substantial project and good to go financially. I hope there are some changes from the way it's designed now.

I understand it's in memory of Mr. S, who was set on an agricultural museum, but I think Boise has become more urban-minded now, for that idea to be attractive. Heck, even 15 years ago when I was there visiting a friend(who essentially lived underneath Mr. S's incredibly massive, flapping-in-the-wind-flag), "agricultural museum" might've fit in with Caldwell, but not Boise. It's a tough call, it being in the his memory and all.

It's not clear to me where the 4 acre park is proposed. is that the area inside? I'm curious what the large, blue, round object is as well, within that inner grass area. I like the amphitheatre idea, along with both the classes and artists/art focus. Gallery/art museum makes more sense, based on that. The amphitheatre might work well with some sort of music school.

Quote:
and the perimeter part is actually suspended in the air off the ground 26 feet.
Interesting...so more or less on stilts? I suppose that would be helpful, but it cuts to the chase of what appears to be the biggest design flaw: It's basically a walled stadium, blocking the urban flow--when I think the general intention is quite the opposite. It looks like it not only blocks several streets, but more importantly, pedestrian and bicycle flow. I'd like to see it redesigned with 2-3 openings--add another floor or two to make up for the lost office space, but break up the structure into 2 or 3 buildings. They wouldn't have to be large spaces, even as little as 20-30 feet would do. I think it would be a much more effective urban space that way. The way it is now, it seems like a place you go to specifically, and then you leave. It wants to be a place that you might drop by, just because you're in the neighborhood, and because there are people there and something is always happening(such as artists working). The mixed-use idea is one that could be even expanded on further--like adding office condos or lofts.

Anyway, it's got a lot of potential, and there aren't too many US cities of any size, announcing new, large DT projects wbich have financing lined up.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 1:39 PM
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If any Boise project ever deserved its own thread this is it. Now that it's in the Mountain West sub-forum wild, we'll get to read opinions of non-locals. Indeed, Orlando and leftopolis have already made their points. As outside observers I think they felt what I felt when I saw the rendering and read the MSM tagline. We cannot get so caught up in the Gee-Whiz, Holy-Cow emotion that we lose sight of what we want downtown Boise to be.

For non Boise-Thread-regulars, here's a repost of my initial reaction:

no, NO,

NOOOOOOO

10th Street and Broad Street need to be punched trough any block sized development on that block. The little section of Borah Street could be abandoned and donated to the project therefore limiting the loss of square footage.

Did they, the Simplots or the architect do any, ANY, homework before they drew up that megalith, as to why downtown Boise is so popular? In a word; Pedestrian-friendly.

I like the concept of the open central area, but what good does it do without easy connection to the rest of downtown? As drawn, it's like a castle and Front/Myrtle/9th/11th serve as the moat. Are they going to install a draw bridge too, to keep out undesirables?

Despite the short-sightedness, in my opinion of course, of the plan, this is great news for all of Boise.

My plan:


And for easy comparison: Credit Idaho Statesman

Last edited by boisecynic; May 26, 2009 at 2:38 PM.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 1:52 PM
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Addendum:

The rendering does appear to allow pedestrian flow along the Broad and 10th Street corridors, because it appears at least some sections are on stilts. However, it is my opinion that some automobile ingress/egress should be provided.

Surely delivery trucks, taxis, future remodelers and repairmen etc. will need to service the building. I cannot see how they have been accommodated. Travel lanes on Front and Myrtle or 9th or 11th can not be sacrificed.

One more thing, apparently one small parcel on that block IS NOT OWNED by the developer, does anyone know which property that is?

Boiseguy: I think you should credit the initial post to the Idaho Statesman, not trying to be mean, just don't want them to get their panties in a bunch and make a request to Dylan to delete your post. A while back, KTVB had youtube pull a clip I posted about BRV river clean-ups.

Also, I've rehosted the rendering on imgur. You might want to use this link for the pic instead of using the Statesman's bandwidth. Here's the url: http://imgur.com/ycz5n.jpg

And to Statesman employees who might be reading this: Can't you do better than a 32 KB Jpeg? I mean really! People on this forum regularly post much better pics than you do! I guess the Statesman must have to cater to those still on dial-up.

Last edited by boisecynic; May 26, 2009 at 2:31 PM.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 2:31 PM
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The small parcel not owned by the developers is the little building right on the corner of 9th and Myrtle and it will look kind of strange to have this huge project built and that little tiny building on the corner staying in place.
This is a huge project and the way I feel is who cares if there will be a "sculpture garden" with antique machinery displayed because that will be minimal compared to what the rest of the project looks like it will have. The 1200 seat ampitheater, the 4 acre park, and the studio space for artists and the mass of the buildings are more exciting aspects. Boise is a big artist type place and this will compliment the arts and cultural district.
Orlando, parks and plazas in downtown Boise are popular and utilized often so I do not think that this park/plaza will be unused once completed.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 4:07 PM
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I preface my comments with the statement that I have not spent much time in downtown Boise. The rendering shown though seems to be a case study in what not to do with a development. Rarely is creating one block out of four a good idea. I don't know the details, but having a large interior open space that looks like it is cut off from the public places (streets, sidewalks) usually produces dead space, even in very walkable places that have a strong history of using their plazas and open spaces. A lot of the concepts being placed in this development are good, but it seems like the designers have a lot of work to do in order to integrate their project into the surroundings. How much land is involved? I didn't catch that in the article.

Again, this is just an outsiders observations based on what I can tell from the rendering. It sounds like there are some connections planned where there are streets now. I generally do not like eliminating streets in a place that is highly walkable, primarily because it is difficult to do without negatively impacting the urban fabric and it makes it more difficult to service a project of this size.

It will be interesting to see how the project unfolds over the next year and through build out. Seems like it could be a very exciting project for Boise. Plus a huge infusion into the local economy. I am pretty curious to see how the final budget works out.
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 5:46 PM
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More info at the IBR :


http://www.idahobusiness.net/archive...parkscape-plan

Architect Susan Desko of Ketchum has created “many special design elements” in the project, the foundation said in the release. For example, the multi-story structure that houses parking, studios and offices will be built around the perimeter of the site, leaving a large area of open space in the interior. The structure will feature many openings through which light and air can pass freely, including a 26-foot vertical space between the ground and the first story of the building.
“The unique design of the perimeter structure will allow excellent views into the park from the street and vice-versa, giving the project an open, welcoming feel,” said Project Director Maggie Soderberg. “Energy efficiency also is one of our top priorities, and we plan to make Jack’s Urban Meeting Place a model of sustainability.”


The various outdoor and indoor venues at Jack’s Urban Meeting Place are to be available for meetings, classes, dinners, weddings and other gatherings.



“We will partner with community non-profits whenever possible to enhance their programs,” McDonald said. “In fact, Jack’s Urban Meeting Place is intended to complement other local venues and activities, not compete with them.”
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  #11  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 7:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boisecynic View Post
One more thing, apparently one small parcel on that block IS NOT OWNED by the developer, does anyone know which property that is?
Looks like Seiniger Law Offices occupies the space according to Google Streetview.
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 8:00 PM
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Looks like a really interesting project, and the concept design is great too. I haven't been to Boise in a long time so not sure how it would interact with downtown, but overall great to see a project of this magnitude starting up during this economy I really like the recognition of sustainability as well.
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 8:05 PM
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That looks pretty damn decent. Way 2 Go Ida-ho!
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 8:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boisecynic View Post
10th Street and Broad Street need to be punched trough any block sized development on that block. The little section of Borah Street could be abandoned and donated to the project therefore limiting the loss of square footage.
Do you know the size of Boise Downtown Blocks? I don't recall them to be particularly large, but it's been a while. It would be helpful to know what kind of space is still available, if one or both of the streets were punched through. Visually, they look big enough to still have an amphitheatre. There are lots of options, such as: one street could be dug down and sort of tunneled, in order to maintain a large above-ground flat surface to work with.

BTW, your castle/moat comparison sums it up well.
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 9:23 PM
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Jack's place

Here is the KTVB news segment on this massive project.

http://www.ktvb.com/news/localnews/s...e.d6a7bea.html
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 9:25 PM
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Originally Posted by InlandEmpire View Post
Looks like a really interesting project, and the concept design is great too. I haven't been to Boise in a long time so not sure how it would interact with downtown, but overall great to see a project of this magnitude starting up during this economy I really like the recognition of sustainability as well.
The beauty is that the money is already there from a private trust, and in light of that it's the perfect time to build IMO since material costs have come back down to earth. Plus, there won't be too much problem finding labor, either.
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 10:01 PM
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I agree that this design needs to change a bit... but I don't believe it would be a plaza underutilized by any means. The bodo shopping district borders it on 9th street.. it will be between TWO convention centers. The Esther Simplot school of performing arts is on the other side of Myrtle and the Future Pioneer corridor all the way to the river will start at the corner of 11th and Myrtle.. so.. to me the biggest concern is access.. as many of you have pointed out.
This piece of property is not currently utilized other than just a warehouse, law office a gay bar, and concrete parking...
I think that the corner of 11th and Myrtle should be forward thinking in that it will be where the pioneer corridor enters the CBD... ALSO.. I think that proper access and pedestrian, bike access needs to allow flow from Bodo into this project and through it over to the convention center... I don't advocate punching the streets through because boise's blocks are pretty small.. but i would advocate shifting some of the grounding points to allow pedestrian, and bikes to access all four streets surrounding the developement.
I don't really like the two blocks of continuous 15-20+ stories along front street.. there should be a break and an inlet to allow for access to the center.. Also, I believe the parking should me moved from the interior down to the lower corner.. which would allow for more options throught the complex

It is my opinion that doing that.. would make it in step with the already successful centre on the grove plaza...
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 10:08 PM
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Also, the Library Blocks, South BoDo or whatever it is going to be called will be built a block South and East of where this new project is going in and the Library Blocks are going to have residential units and then there is The Aspen right next door filling up with people so in time there is going to be a number of people living around JUMP. The square and park will be a great asset to them and the rest of us. I just remembered that there is supposed to be another new city block park next to the Boise Headquarters building and all of those empty lots have proposals for hotel/office. Could Boise be on the verge of another major boom????? The New York Times seems to think that Boise is going to be a city to watch once the national economy starts to turn around.
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by leftopolis View Post
Do you know the size of Boise Downtown Blocks? I don't recall them to be particularly large, but it's been a while. It would be helpful to know what kind of space is still available, if one or both of the streets were punched through. Visually, they look big enough to still have an amphitheatre. There are lots of options, such as: one street could be dug down and sort of tunneled, in order to maintain a large above-ground flat surface to work with.

BTW, your castle/moat comparison sums it up well.
I believe boise's city blocks are similar to portland's in that they are 68,000 sqft.
I think if towers are incorprated with more breaks it would look less castle-like

Also, I know that the simplot is looking to incorporate their corporate headquarters into it. I don't know if that would involve more floors or another tower of if that is what is part of the design in the top left corner...
we'll have to wait and see...
I hope that the design review does not just let this steamroll through the process because the economy is crap right now... if you're going to do something.. do it right...
I would even advocate parking to be underground and elevators to ground level being in the center of the plaza..
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Old Posted May 26, 2009, 10:23 PM
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R.I.P. Emerald City Club.
Maybe they are going to negotiate to open a new club in the new project.
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