BOISE, Idaho — Despite the spread of a worldwide pandemic, growth in the Treasure Valley moved right along, and it looks to continue right into the New Year. But let's be clear, COVID-19 will still impact how the capital city grows.
Don Day from BoiseDev.com is keeping very busy, focusing on where growth will spread in 2021: "One of the things we've been watching during the pandemic is a lot of the offices in downtown Boise are empty for obvious reasons. How is downtown's character going to change the future maybe from from it being less dependent on people working in offices everyday, and maybe more dependent on people living in apartments and condos in the downtown area?"
Having said that, you might get a sore neck looking up because there is no shortage of building cranes in the downtown core. "You know Don, I'll say this, the beginning of the year is when we really see a lot of the projects come off the pipeline that are in the works," Day says. "There's a large-scale apartment complex on Boise Avenue that's coming back, there is a 19-story tower by former council member Scott Ludwig that would be high-end condos, and that's just Boise."
Something else that has Day's attention is the growing dependency on online shopping. Amazon for instance has created hundreds of new jobs which is always a good thing but will their fifteen-dollars-an-hour pay scale put pressure on smaller businesses paying minimum wage. "It put pressure on our transportation system, because goods come into the valley and then they go to another center," Day says. "Certainly, there are infrastructure and climate implications to that. And it puts pressure on a lot of small businesses making it easy to buy your goods on Amazon and you're not going out because of the pandemic, or not going out because it's easier."
New jobs, bring in new people, looking for new homes. Day added, "we're going to continue to see growth and demand for housing. That means a continued rise in housing prices which is going up at a clip that's very hard to sustain and causing problems and challenges for builders and businesses. It really is an unprecedented time."