Boise State University got approval to acquire the property necessary to construct its new baseball stadium. The area includes an eight-unit apartment complex and two other properties that may be seized under eminent domain.
On Thursday, the Idaho State Board of Education unanimously approved the university’s desire to acquire three parcels in the area north of West Beacon Street, between Euclid and Denver avenues. The entire stadium is projected to cost between $8 million and $10 million, in addition to the $500,000 in engineering costs approved by the State Board of Education at the end of June.
The new stadium is tentatively set for a home opener against Seattle University in March 2020.
Boise State has reached a “tentative agreement” on the eight-unit apartment complex at 1104-1108 S. Grant Ave., but has been unsuccessful in negotiations with the owners of a four-unit apartment complex at 1116-1122 W. Beacon St. and a surface parking lot at 1101 S. Denver Ave.
The property at 1116 W. Beacon St. is owned by Cotner Properties & Investments LLC, which could not be reached for comment Thursday. The parking lot at 1101 S. Denver Ave. is owned by “Boise Church Christ Boise ID,” which also could not be reached for comment Thursday.
If the school cannot reach an agreement with the two property owners, the state Board of Education gave BSU approval to go ahead with condemnation to acquire the parcels through eminent domain. Eminent domain allows the government to take private property with compensation.
The board took up the issue in the second half of its two-day August meeting at Idaho State University in Pocatello. The decision was made with little discussion from board members and passed unanimously.
Boise State spokesman Greg Hahn said the area for the stadium has been in the university’s expansion plan for the last two decades and it should not be a surprise to property owners that the school wants to acquire the parcels.
“Everybody rightfully wants to make sure, however, it goes down is fair and gives everybody the value that the properties deserve,” he said of the ongoing negotiations.
Boise State University was initially considering a partnership with the proposed downtown Boise Sports Park multi-use project, which was then tentatively sited at the corner of Americana Boulevard and Shoreline Drive. The university backed out in October 2017.
The school budgeted $400,000 per year to use the city facility but eventually decided to construct its own stadium because “It became clear that a long-term lease would be less financially prudent than a project that Boise State could either build or lease to own,” according to a press release in October.
The school also cited its hiring process at the time to search for its new baseball coach as a reason for pulling out of the deal with the city.
“We are in the middle of the hiring process for our baseball head coach, and an on-campus stadium will be a major selling point — both to the individual we ultimately hire, and to the future student-athletes that will be recruited to Boise State,” Athletic Director Curt Apsey said in the October 2017 press release.