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Tue September 20, 2011
Hole No More
The days are numbered for Boise’s infamous hole in the ground. Monday representatives from Utah based Zions Bank stood in front of the hole to lay out a plan that will change Boise’s skyline and maybe the city’s economic prospects.
On a platform in front of downtown Boise’s hole in the ground, developers, bankers, and Boise’s mayor announce a new home for Zions Bank in Idaho. Just before the speeches, about two dozen suited and high heeled bank workers show up to listen. Most walk en-mass from the Zion’s branch a block away. Debbie Harris is among them.
Debbie Harris “I actually opened this branch on 9th and Main ten years ago in 2001. So I opened that branch and listened to them putting in the original footings when they were originally digging the hole and going through all that. And it''s kind of funny, we all kind of went ‘well gosh we should take that hole,’ and so it’s kind of fun to watch it happen now.”
Boise’s mayor David Bieter tells the crowd he’s the happiest person in Boise. He says every time he meets with the public, someone asks him what he’s going to do about the hole. He says with a well-established entity like Zion’s bank on board the ten years of false starts and inaction regarding the hole is finally over. Bieter also says this project is proof that Boise’s economy is on the road to recovery.
David Bieter “I think nothing speaks more profoundly than a 60 million dollar project right in an area that, you know, people were avoiding.”
Adam Cotterell “But it’s still just one building.”
David Bieter “And it’s one very big building in a prominent eye sore in the middle of downtown.”
The hole was dug ten years ago for the failed Boise Towers project. For Boise locals it’s developed an almost iconic status. Just last week the experimental company Alley Repertory Theater presented an original play called Voices from the Hole about life in Boise. The spot has been vacant since 1987 when a fire destroyed the historic building that had been there.