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Can You (Still) Keep a Secret?

Trader Joe's incorporated in Idaho

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Obamacare. Wolves. Immunizations. There are plenty of stories that have inspired our readers to light up the Boise Weekly blogosphere. But when BW reported that developers had their eye on turning a prime piece of downtown Boise real estate into a retail square (BW, News ,"Retail Square Proposed," Nov. 28, 2012) and that the prime contender for the space was Trader Joe's (BW, News, "Can You Keep a Secret?" Dec. 5, 2012), the floodgates flew open:

"My Christmas prayers have been answered."

"Bye bye Co-op."

"I think I just won a bet."

"Thrilled that TJ will be in that location rather than somewhere on Eagle Road."

But a particular daily newspaper (the one that just installed a pay wall for its digital content) insisted that its reporter was told that there were no plans about Trader Joe's coming to Boise. The Idaho Statesman said its source was indeed Trader Joe's.

That's probably the same Trader Joe's headquartered in Monrovia, Calif., that applied on Sept. 11 for a certificate of authority to operate in Idaho. And that's most certainly the same entity whose corporate vice president and treasurer, Sharon Drabeck, signed the application, triggering the Idaho Secretary of State's Office to deem that Trader Joe's was in "good standing."

"It's kind of exciting," said Kristi Perry, executive officer of SynEx Corporate Services. "At this point, [Trader Joe's] is incorporated to do business in Idaho."

Perry should know. Her company represents Trader Joe's legal and business interests in the Gem State, at least for now.

"Paracorp is [Trader Joe's] registered agent. Paracorp is a registered agent with a lot of different businesses," said Perry, referring to the California-based company which represents corporations and limited liability partnerships in all 50 states. "And we represent them in Idaho. We make sure that if any kind of legal transactions transpire, they would come through us first."

But first things first. Developers must navigate the Boise Design Review Committee on Wednesday, Dec. 12, with plans for the land at Capitol Boulevard and Front Street. Not until the committee grants a conditional use permit to the developer can the developer move forward with its purchase of the 1.7-acre parcel, which sees an average of 30,000 vehicles pass by each day. And not until the purchase is complete can the developer publicly acknowledge who its potential tenants might be.

In fact, Boise Weekly reported that a number of private and public officials had signed confidentiality agreements and weren't at liberty to say anything to anyone about practically anything.

But at least one official staff report from the City of Boise's planning division likes what it sees so far.

"Staff recommends this application be approved," wrote a staff report to the Design Review Committee. "[The project] complies with Boise City Zoning Ordinances and the design-related goals and policies of the Boise City Comprehensive Plan."

"If the City approves those plans, I would imagine that they would announce their tenants pretty soon after that," Capital City Development Corporation Executive Director Anthony Lyons told BW.

But for now, Christmas wishes will have to keep.

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