Boise residents are faced with a tough choice – trading in some of their open spaces slated for parks and recreation areas to allow the construction of thousands of new homes the city badly needs. Some of the residents are not happy with this prospect, but on the other hand that would mean thousands of new homes for the people moving to Boise in large numbers. And at a more reasonable price than what we’re seeing today when the median home value in the city is almost $500,000.
To Build or not to Build
Under the proposed deals, some 6,600 new houses could be built in Southwest Boise. At stake are four large properties pushing on the Southwest Boise Area of Impact and totaling around 1,100 acres. The idea is that once the lands are acquired by real-estate investment funds the parcels would be annexed and rezoned by the city, paving the way for construction work to begin.
The Murgoito Parcel
Much of the debate is focused on the Murgoitio parcel, located between South Cole and South Maple Grove. The 160 acres of the Murgoitio parcel are owned by the city and the land has been farmed for decades. There were plans to build a new park in the area, but those were quietly shelved years ago. The deal would see the city turning the Murgoito parcel to the Harris family in exchange for 250 acres of Foothills land.
The Harris family had plans to build more than 1,200 new houses in the area. However, the deal has been called off for the time being. According to Mayor Lauren McLean, the deal doesn’t make financial sense anymore seeing that last year the value of the Murgoito parcel was estimated at $7.8 million, but current appraisals put the figure at $32-38 million.
West Junior High School
The 15 acres property of the Boise School District was auctioned off in July to Welltower Inc. for $12. The number of houses to be built on this land has not yet been released, but Welltower Inc. has announced plans to build a “wellness focused housing development”. Wellness Housing communities are based on four basic ideas: quality, social, diet and fitness. The new residents will be encouraged to meet and socialize, and they’ll have access to a dedicated pool and community gardens. Not as good as the promised park, but close enough.
That’s the biggest of the housing developments proposed for Southwest Boise and it looks pretty much like a done deal. More than 3,400 new houses could be built on the 383 acres of land belonging to Murio Farms. The developer has promised to build a real community in the area. It won’t be just houses, as the new community will also have an elementary school, a park and commercial areas.
The first 123 new houses built in the area formerly known as Syringa Valley will become available this fall. The 600 acres between Cole and Orchard streets were annexed in 2007 and construction works began in 2016. The whole project could see the addition of 2,000 new houses, an incredible amount for a city where available houses are at an all-time low.