Commissioner discusses future of Les Bois Park

Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 19:58:57-04

Local developers and elected officials are eyeing the prime real estate Les Bois Park sits on and dreaming of the possibilities.

Les Bois Park sits on 60 acres of real estate that has skyrocketed in value over the last decade. With horse racing all but dead in the state, the question now is who's going to take advantage of the situation?

If you visit the park, things are pretty quiet. But behind scenes, people are thinking of the possibilities the space could hold. Ada County Commissioner David Case has considered a number of options, from hotels, to general business parks, to new green space for public recreation.

But before any public discussion can happen, Treasure Valley Racing, which manages Les Bois, needs to end its lease.

"They pay the lease up front so it's for the full year,” said Case. “They have until January 1 to make a decision on what they're going to do."

As the discussion starts on the possibilities of the 60 acres occupied by Les Bois, folks are also looking to the adjacent fair grounds for additional development. But Case says that property won't change in the near future.

"That's the center of the population base that Ada County has invested in,” he said. “So we don't have any current plans to move the fair or Expo Idaho."

Case also put a kibosh on the notion of selling the land to Garden City.

"Does it come down to this concept that you have to leave because this is our city? That's not going to happen."

The commissioner did say he'd like to keep the grandstands and Turf Club used by Les Bois. That could work with a plan he's considering -- turning the land into soccer and lacrosse fields. In the end though,he wants the public to weigh in.

“This is the community's property and we want them to have input and give us guidance in what they want to see there."

We aren't likely to see any public action on the property until the first of the year, depending whether Les Bois renews its lease. Case says if the property comes up for grabs he'd like to see public planning meetings as soon as January.