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GBAD Gets New Board Member and New Direction

Exit Mike Fitzgerald; Enter Rob Perez


Rob Perez was rarin' to go March 19. He was the first person in the room for the monthly meeting of the Greater Boise Auditorium District Board--ready to use his business acumen (as CEO and director of Western Capital Bank) as GBAD's newest board member. He was armed with plenty of notes and questions. Only the small matter of being elected to the board stood in his way. But that didn't take too long.

The first order of business was the acceptance of Board Member Mike Fitzgerald's resignation. For the better part of a year, Fitzgerald had been balancing his GBAD duties with a job as an Eastern Idaho restaurant manager (BW, News, "Home Away From Home," Aug. 24, 2011), but ultimately decided that it was inappropriate to hold a Boise-based elected position while living and working on the other side of the state.

Less than a minute later, Perez' name was put into nomination as Fitzgerald's replacement.

"He has even agreed to stand for election once this term has expired [in mid-2012]," said Board Member Judy Peavey-Derr.

But that's not entirely accurate.

"I would consider it," Perez told Citydesk later. "Look, I'm a numbers guy, and right now, I want to make sure that everything we do is based on the fact that we can afford it."

And at the top of the "everything" list is a new convention center. GBAD board members decided not to further explore land east of Capitol Boulevard as the site for a new convention facility. For more than a year, GBAD had mulled over the possibility of negotiating with landowners bordered by Myrtle, Front and Sixth streets and Capitol Boulevard.

"But there would be significant design and operational challenges there," said Don Knickrehm, legal counsel to the GBAD board, who explained that the two blocks would only accommodate four acres of development.

The GBAD board chose to return its focus to a parcel of land (already owned by the agency), near Boise's connector, bordered by 11th, 13th, Front and Myrtle streets, which would accommodate five acres.

The board also wants to consider a new study on the possible construction of a new 156,000-square-foot convention facility, which could cost approximately $37 million. GBAD currently has more than $9 million in tax receipts and fee collections.