Brush Up Your Shakespeare: Idaho Shakespeare Festival Getting Closer to Macy's Building

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Boise Weekly has learned that plans are moving along—at a much more rapid pace—on a major development that we reported exclusively in November 2012: that Idaho Shakespeare Festival is in final talks concerning moving its headquarters, administrative, education and rehearsal space into the former Macy's building at 10th and Idaho streets in downtown Boise. If all goes as planned, ISF would also create a new downtown performance venue at the location.

Shakespeare festival is negotiating with as many as three regional nonprofits that could also take over some of the space, which has sat empty since March 2010 when Macy's pulled up stakes.

BW first reported in November 2011 that the Northwest Real Estate Capital Corporation, a nonprofit that specializes in affordable-housing management, has agreed to build approximately 62 individual apartments, ranging in size from 518- to 1,000-square feet on the second through fifth floors. Monthly rent is expected to cost approximately $540-$1,040.

But a big question remained: What to do with the spacious first floor and mezzanine of the building?

"This is the reason why we've delayed the project for about nine months," Jeff Schneider, principal emeritus with CSHQA told Boise Weekly. "If everybody does what they're supposed to do, we'll pull this together by late spring and resubmit plans to the city for the modifications and get going."

CSHQA, the project's chief architect and Northwest Real Estate Capital, were granted a 180-day extension on the project in November 2012. That extension expires in mid-May.

"If we can get everybody online, this will be good not only for the owners, but for that whole area," Schneider told BW. "I think it's one of the most important things to happen downtown. This would give the Shakespeare Festival a permanent home and they have a huge education program during the day which would bring a lot of people into that area every day."

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