According to the Idaho Statesman the city of Nampa, located twenty miles west of Boise is struggling to redevelop it's downtown core while keeping the architectural charm intact. Business owners and developers are tasked with turning a profit while upgrading buildings that may contain asbestos or out of date plumbing systems.
“It’s sort of a Catch 22,” said Councilman Rick Hogaboam. “The poorer the state of a property becomes, the more expensive it is to redevelop.” Absentee owners are also making things more difficult.
This year, Alvin Mullins bought the 114-year-old building at 1215 First St. South. Following about $1.5 million in renovations, a new brewery and taco joint will move in. The city has deemed Terry Ayers’ property at 1206 1st St. South a “dangerous building” after a sprinkler leak left the ceilings caving in. Ayers said that he cares about downtown but is relying on a pending insurance claim to pay for renovations.Kate Talerico Kate Talerico
Nearby, the owner of Rolling H Cycles, Adam Haynes, bought the former Whiskey River bar at 1314 First St. South and will move his business there in 2019. Nampa developer Mike Mussell this summer opened the doors to renovations on the old Nampa library, which now holds the Nampa Chamber of Commerce and the One11 Press coffee store. And Because International, a Nampa nonprofit, just purchased the Yesteryear Shoppe bookstore building at 1211 First Street S. Wear relocated her nutrition store, World of Nutrition, downtown from Caldwell Boulevard in 2015. “Exposure is much better out here than people flying by on the Boulevard,” she said. “Once the vacancies go away, the foot traffic will become even better.”
Ask any downtown Nampa business owner to name concerns about downtown, and vacancies come up. Each owner can point to a distressed building nearby.
Most of them can name the owner, too. In the eyes of some property owners and city leaders, missing-in-action owners are undermining their improvement efforts.