Whole Foods Sails Through Design Review

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In another step forward for Austin, Texas-based specialty grocery chain Whole Foods, Boise’s Design Review unanimously approved the project Wednesday night. The 5.6-acre development will include two retail buildings—a 35,000-square-foot Whole Foods and a 15,000-square-foot Walgreens—on the empty lot bordered by Broadway Avenue and Front and Myrtle streets.

Design Review staff recommended seven conditions of approval for the project—swapping out a number of proposed tree species and installing a manicured lawn with an underground irrigation system on the Phase Two site—all of which Schlosser Development agreed to.

Schlosser also agreed to a public work session with Capital City Development Corporation to discuss redesigning the proposed “urban gateway” plaza space—which currently includes a pedestrian gathering area and water pond—at Broadway and Myrtle streets. CCDC expressed a desire for “a design competition for public art as part of the plaza space in lieu of the water feature.”

The environment in the City Hall chambers Wednesday night was a wild departure from the Oct. 13 Design Review meeting, where committee members shot down the contentious Jack’s Urban Meeting Place project. Further upset occurred when Planning and Zoning voted on Dec. 13 to overturn Design Review’s decision, which resulted in the resignation of DR members Elizabeth Wolf and Greg Ugrin.

The committee—minus members Rob Anderson and James Marsh, who recused themselves from the vote—unanimously agreed to approve the Whole Foods project with staff's recommendations and the additional public work-session, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m.

For a comprehensive glimpse of what the Whole Foods project will look like, check out some digital renderings here.