Sustainable Downtown Development In Idaho’s Treasure Valley
In March 2009, ULI Idaho hosted a Mayor’s Forum in which Treasure Valley Mayors articulated their visions and the challenges in creating sustainable downtown development. In response, a Task Force of nineteen ULI Idaho members representing all aspects of the development and land use industry was created and met over the course of a six-month period. The pinnacle of the work was a one-day session of interviews conducted by the Task Force with 95 community leaders from the participating cities.
Based on the challenges articulated by the Mayors, the Task Force was asked to address each of the following questions:
- What are the necessary tools and conditions to encourage and achieve sustainable
and vibrant real estate projects in Treasure Valley downtowns?
- Who are the necessary partners to implement these projects successfully?
- What are the obstacles to achieving these projects and how do you transform
obstacles into opportunities?
- What development strategies are realistic for Treasure Valley downtowns and what
specific steps should cities take to implement these strategies?
- What project examples in Western cities could be emulated in Treasure Valley
Findings and Recommendations
- Develop a Common Vision
- Nurture Residential Living
- Most important – Partnerships
- Focus and Prioritize
- Execute and Follow Through
Technical Assistance to Nampa Development Corporation
Following the publication of the Sustainable Downtown Development, report and an October 2010 workshop on Public-Private Partnerships, the City of Nampa Development Corporation asked ULI Idaho to recommend next steps in the re-development of the Nampa downtown. Specifically, they asked:
- What is the value of the library as it relates to the value of the pivot block?
- Have conditions changed since the downtown plan was developed?
- How can the City spur private sector development?
- Is the current market demand study still accurate?
Findings and Recommendations:
- Focus on the historic core.
- Increase activity.
- Maximize the impact of the library project on the historic core.
- Create engaging open space.
- Improve the traffic pattern.
Short Term Steps in The Creation Of A Sustainable Downtown Meridian
In January 20121, the City of Meridian Development Corporation requested ULI Idaho to recommend the next steps for them in implementing their downtown Master Plan. Their assignment to us was to answer the following questions:
- What uses to focus on today?
- What are the real market vs. desired market?
- How to attract development?
- What activities should happen?
- How to improve the farmers’ market?
- How to enhance place-making?
- Does the rail corridor have any relevancy?
- How to improve participation of current and business owners?
- How do you build capacity?
- What is the value of a Downtown Business Association?
Findings and Recommendations
- The anchor block is between Main, Meridian, Broadway, and Idaho
- Cluster small scale retail and support local incubator businesses
- The market for downtown is local.
- Attract development through marketing and place-making
- Build on the current activities with a goal have something happening all the
- Enhance place-making through improving local access and focus improvement on
- The current UP property is a detriment to the downtown.
- Organize the downtown business and property owners with a goal of creating a
Downtown Business Association with professional support.