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State of 208: A look ahead to 2020

Posted: 2:35 PM, Jan 12, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-12 22:08:45-05

BOISE, Idaho — To say 2019 was a record breaking year for growth in the Treasure Valley would be an understatement. But can the pace continue in 2020?

Don Day from BoiseDev stopped by the 6 On Your Side studio to talk about what this year might bring.

When we start talking growth, of course, we have to start in the City of Trees.

Lauren McLean shocked a lot of people by upsetting Dave Bieter in the runoff election in December, and she's quick to say that contrary to what some might think, she is not anti-growth.

"Last night at Boise City Hall, she talked bout some of her priorities and she make it very clear that the growth isn't going to stop," Don Day explained.

Meridian also has a new mayor, Robert Simison, who says when it comes to growth, he will continue the course the west Ada community is on: steady growth, both residential and commercial.

Don Day has a lot of questions. "How will Meridian grow under Robert Simison? Will it become lots of apartments? Will it become large lots of housing subdivisions? Will we see more office space, commercial, and how will their downtown develop?"

For example, a large lot downtown right along the railroad tracks has remained empty for quite some time, but it sounds like not for long.

Day sheds some light on what might happen next: "It is a 300-400 unit apartment complex, 500 parking spot in a garage, and two potential office towers, as well as some retail. Big massive project right in the heart of Meridian."

From Boise all the way west to Caldwell, two words you will continue to hear about is affordable housing.

"We have a lot more people coming in and we just don't have enough spaces for those folks to live," Day says. "You see it in your property tax bill, you see it in your apartment rent, it drives the rates of living up."

One thing Don Day has witnessed and wrote about in BoiseDev is how attitudes are changing over the last couple of years when it comes to valley growth.

"The environment here has changed, where once upon a time people might have been excited to see some new shops and restaurants open. Now people are very concerned about traffic, housing prices, about all the things that we talk about."