The Capital City Development Corp. Board of Commissioners voted today to give developer Mark Rivers until December 2011 to start work on his Library Blocks development.
Rivers requested the two-year extension on the project – part of which would be built on land at Eighth and River that was owned by CCDC – due to the ailing economy. The building on CCDC’s land was to include ground-floor retail and 218 condos, but the market for condos has tanked since the project was first proposed in 2006 and chosen by CCDC in February 2007.
"This should come as no surprise to anyone based on current and projected economic conditions," CCDC Development Manager Katina Dutton said.
Rivers has already received two extensions for the project. The board debated whether to make him pay a $10,000 extension fee.
"This extension fee is extremely nominal for the value of this land," Commissioner Patrick Shalz said. "I think if we don’t put some skin in the game here, we’ll continue to see extensions even if the market does improve."
But City Councilman David Eberle disagreed because the economy was the cause of the delay. "It’s not the developer’s doing," he said.
Another major part of the Library Blocks project would be a new main library on the site of the current downtown library. According to City Councilman Alan Shealy, new branch libraries in Boise have seen a huge amount of traffic. But Eberle said delaying the Library Blocks wouldn’t ruin the city’s plans for a new library because the city is still raising funds from philanthropists and may seek to pass a bond.