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The City of Idaho Falls, in partnership with the Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors, recently received a $15,000 Idaho Smart Growth Action grant from the National Association of REALTORS®. The funds will assist with future planning for the development of the area south of downtown.
Referred to as the Warehouse District, the identified area is a sub-area of the City of Idaho Falls’ downtown, between Broadway and Pancheri Drive and east of the Snake River. While older areas around downtown and the Snake River have undergone revitalization over the years through various funding methods, this area is one of the missing pieces of the complete redevelopment puzzle.
Dana Briggs, economic development coordinator for the City of Idaho Falls states, “Having dedicated resources to apply to this project is an exciting step forward in setting the vision and implementing a plan for this important area. Revitalizing and redeveloping this corridor has been an area of focus for the City of Idaho Falls, and we look forward to what can be achieved as a result of this grant award.”
The area is located in one of Idaho Falls’ oldest neighborhoods and is home to the Idaho Falls Public Library, Idaho Falls Power, The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, State of Idaho offices, as well as a park and River Walk along the Snake River. There is commercial property on the north, east and south borders, with storefronts on Broadway and Maple Street and warehousing and light industrial along Yellowstone Avenue and Pancheri Drive. In the heart of this unique area are historic homes covering six square blocks, a microbrewery and scuba diving shop.
Redevelopment plans potentially could assist with the many distressed and underutilized properties, vacant lots and buildings and provide for better vehicle and pedestrian access and connectivity to the river and other developments while honoring the historic values of the area.
Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper states, “Improving our downtown neighborhoods invigorates the heart of our city, and I have no doubt this will be the case for this project as well. As with any large-scale project such as this one, it will be done in phases and include a significant amount of public outreach to establish the stakeholders’ vision and garner community members’ insights for this unique and historic area. This will be followed by meticulous analysis and professional planning by city departments and private partners.”
“The Greater Idaho Falls Association of REALTORS® has been working to build a strong, collaborative relationship with the City,” explains Chris Pelkola Lee, president, Greater Idaho Falls Association of REALTORS®. “This project was identified as a unique way that the association could utilize a combination of funds to move the project forward. We are excited to contribute to the community we live and work in by supporting a project that will result in further connectivity and improvements for the residents of Idaho Falls.”
Next steps include identifying key stakeholders and analyzing the area, followed by interviews with stakeholders and a mapping workshop for the public. Using the information gathered through the public outreach process, an action plan will be created to provide the city, property owners, residents and businesses with a clear direction for short- and long-term implementation.
Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.
About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more on our website.