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Make That 30 Stories

Boise tower to tower higher

Maybe they're making up for the hole. Gary Rogers, the new developer of what was once known as the Boise Tower on 8th Street between Idaho and Main, now wants the new building to be even taller.

Originally, Rogers told city officials and the media he hoped to make the new tower about 25 stories high. Well, things change. Now, the founder of Charterhouse Boise Downtown Properties LLC thinks the building might go to 30 stories.

"We've had to go back and redesign the building entirely," Rogers told a recent meeting of the Capital City Development Corporation. "There is the possibility that we may exceed 25 stories, possibly up to as many as 30."

Prospects of a new skyscraper sent eyebrows skyward as well.

"That's, to me, kind of an alarming increase," said City Councilor Alan Shealy, who sits on the board of CCDC. He worried that a new 30-story skyscraper might inspire an architectural build-off.

"The game of one-upmanship tends to take hold," Shealy said. "I would hate to see a bunch of skyscrapers dominate the Boise skyline."

Although the CCDC's urban renewal guidelines restrict buildings to a 20-story height, city ordinances, oddly, do not restrict developers to a height limit.

"In my opinion, if you're going to have very tall buildings in downtown Boise, that's where you'd have it," said Bruce Chatterton, Boise's director of Planning and Development Services. He added that he had yet to see the latest plans for the tower.

Rogers told Shealy that he doubted his building's height would inspire copycat designs on Boise's skyline.

"We'll bring you a design that you'll like," he said.

Meanwhile, Rogers is asking for volunteers to help him remove the massive banner sign that's hanging off a neighboring building, announcing the former design known as the Boise Towers. Getting a crane to remove the sign, Rogers said, was proving to be too expensive. One alternative, he said, was to get a crew to rappel down the side of the building and remove the banner by hand.

"I'm so anxious to get that sign down, I'd be ready to go over the edge," said CCDC commissioner John May.