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Still a Hole


The Boise Hole will remain a hole for the foreseeable future.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge put the kibosh on developer Gary Rogers’ bid to salvage his project last week after a new investor refused to disclose financial information, despite a court order.

The end of Chapter 11 proceedings means the case will either be converted into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy—allowing the assets of Rogers’ Charterhouse Downtown Boise Properties to be liquidated—or dismissed. If the case is dismissed, Robert Capps, who purchased the $2.8 million loan Rogers’ defaulted on, will be able to foreclose on the property.

Phones at the Charterhouse Boise office were disconnected.

It’s just the latest act in the never-ending drama that is the Boise Hole.

No developer has been able to build on the prime downtown location on the corner of Eighth and Main streets since the historic Eastman Building burned down on New Year’s Eve 1987 (BW, News, “The Hole Story,” Jan. 23, 2008).

Developer Rick Peterson made the first attempt in 1997 after he bought the property from the Capital City Development Corporation for $265,000 with the stipulation that if he didn’t meet certain benchmarks, it would reclaim the property—which is exactly what happened.

His plans to build a 25-story building went awry after a series of financing problems, labor disputes and missed deadlines caused him to lose his building permits. This led to legal action against the city, and Peterson eventually sold the property to Rogers, which by that time was in its subterranean-rebar-filled condition.

Rogers originally planned for a 34-story building on the site of the hole, but he ran into financial problems from the get-go. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2007 after defaulting on several loans, including $7.6 million to Peterson.

Bankruptcy trustees wanted the case turned into a Chapter 7 so creditors could be paid, but Rogers fought it. Later, he announced he had a new investor, Robert Plummer, who would fund a scaled-down project.

The judge in the bankruptcy case asked for financial information on Plummer. Unfortunately, Plummer refused to cooperate, forcing the end to Chapter 11 proceedings.

According to the Idaho Business Review, Rogers’ attorney plans to ask to turn the case into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy since there is significant value in Rogers’ assets.

The matter will be in court, again, on June 16.