- Kelsey Hawes
- Capitol Dining is coming to Capitol Boulevard in September 2017
Overlooking the Grove Plaza, which is still being remodeled, more than two hours of speeches and presentations provided a steady stream of statistics on the downtown core.
As Thursday afternoon became Thursday evening, two big pieces of news emerged:
- "Capitol Dining" will occur in September, featuring a line of dinner tables in the center of Capitol Boulevard. "Imagine the biggest al fresco dining experience in Boise's history," said DBA Executive Director Lynn Hightower. "It will be on a Sunday evening in September and details will be announced soon." Capitol Dining will be the newest high-profile event for DBA, which already hosts First Thursday, Christmas in the City and Alive After Five—the latter will launch its 31st season on Wednesday, June 7 with a return to the Grove Plaza.
- It was nearly two hours later when the other big headline surfaced. Capital City Development Corporation Director John Brunelle walked to the podium, put on a baseball cap and invited Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and Chris Schoen, managing partner of Atlanta-based Greenstone Properties, to the stage. "We're ready to take this on," said Bieter. "This" being the much discussed possibility of a downtown sports stadium. Schoen said he envisions a stadium that attracts 200,000-300,000 annual visitors for baseball; 200,000-3000,000 visitors for soccer; and will host nearly 100 other events, attracting another 200,000 visitors. "The stadium will be the catalyst for development, which will help pay for the stadium," said Bieter, who added that he expected capital funds to come from the city of Boise and the Greater Boise Auditorium District. "If all goes as hoped, we could break ground in 12 to 14 months," said Schoen. "It would take us about 16 months to build. You could see a stadium ready by 2020." The stadium and accompanying retail/business development would be built on a parcel of land on Americana Boulevard and Shoreline Drive, which was recently acquired by Greenstone Properties.