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Boise Council Considering Purchase of 260 More Acres of Undeveloped Foothills

"This purchase, if successful, will be an exciting new acquisition with the potential to create trail connections in an area that is enormously popular with hikers and mountain bikers."

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In the current edition of Boise Weekly, our feature article [BW, Feature, "Price of Place," April 3, 2013] asks the question: How do you measure the value of the Foothills?

One of the few studies, from a College of William and Mary undergraduate, estimated that the undeveloped land reaps an estimated $11.9 million in benefits: including savings from reduced health care spending brought by increased exercise, increased property values on neighboring properties and public utilities cost savings from undeveloped acreage.

That value is only expected to increase as the Boise City Council is set to discuss allocating $1.9 million from the Foothills serial levy to fund the purchase of seven more parcels of the Foothills, this time from Boise Foothills LLC (formerly known as DBSI Boise Foothills), a consortium of 51 individuals.

"This purchase, if successful, will be an exciting new acquisition with the potential to create trail connections in an area that is enormously popular with hikers and mountain bikers," Boise Mayor Dave Bieter stated in a news release announcing the potential purchase.

The property owner's spokesman, Jonathon Kaji, president of California-based economic development and investment consultancy Kaji & Associates, stated: "We believe the sale of this important property is a clear 'win-win' for all parties concerned.

The parcel of undeveloped land is a major section within the area commonly known as the "Hillside to the Hollow" property, located north of Hill Road between Bogus Basin Road and North 33rd Street.

The proposed purchase of the nearly 260 acres of open space will be considered at the Tuesday, April 9 meeting of the Boise City Council.

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