Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A developer broke ground Wednesday on a new upscale apartment building in downtown Boise. If it feels like you’ve seen a lot of these lately, you’re not imagining things. Ada County is in the middle of an unprecedented apartment building boom.

Consider a spot in southwest Boise where workers are putting siding on one of several buildings in a new apartment complex called the Asheville. They’re bundled up because the temperature is hovering right at freezing. But it’s blessedly warm inside one of the units that’s already finished.

Idaho Googled “Bike Repair” more than any other state according to a map going around social media. It purports to show what job each state Googles more than any other. The map was created by career advice website Zippia.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise International Market had been operating less than a year when it burned down in September. Since the fire, people have been asking if the popular destination for food, imports and culture would be rebuilt. We still don’t know the answer to that, but we do know something similar is on the way.

Thunder Mountain Line/Facebook

An inability to replace business lost in the Great Recession is what operators say is behind this week’s decision to close a scenic train line in southwest Idaho.

The Thunder Mountain Line has operated train rides out of Horseshoe Bend since 1998. The company says ridership in 2015 failed to meet goals. That prompted the decision Monday to cease operations. 

Chris / Flickr Creative Commons

The rising cost of rental housing is a story being played out in cities across the country. In Idaho, the affordable housing crisis in Boise has been well documented.

Jon Preuss / Sawtooth Avalanche Center

This week, an avalanche on Bald Mountain injured a skier who was out of bounds at the Sun Valley ski resort. When it happened, the avalanche danger in the area was “high,” which means human-triggered avalanches were likely.

Every day, snow science experts from the Sawtooth Avalanche Center head out into the backcountry to figure out the severity of avalanche danger.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Update 1:55 p.m. Wednesday: A plan to relocate some of the homeless people ejected from a Boise tent city last week has fallen through after objections from potential neighbors.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

On Friday morning, Boise Police will begin clearing a homeless camp near downtown.

The camp in an alley known as Cooper Court has been around since early summer and nearly 100 people sleep there. City leaders have said for months that the camp is unsafe, unhealthy and would not be allowed to remain long term.

U.S. Census Bureau

The 2014 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau gives a county by county and even neighborhood by neighborhood look at something most of us probably know: Idaho was in worse shape after the Great Recession. For the first time this year the census allows people to compare two non-overlapping five-year periods. Those are 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, a rough approximation of before the recession and after it.  

Less Money

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise International Market burned down in September, putting its business owners out of work. This weekend, a handful of those - mostly refugee - entrepreneurs started back up in a temporary location for the holiday season.

Trailhead in downtown Boise is in a pretty good location for restaurants and retail. It isn’t designed for either, though. Trailhead is a business incubator.

Downtown Boise Association

The hashtag is #ShopSmallBoise, but the Downtown Association hopes Small Business Saturday translates to big money for shops and restaurants.

“Shopping local and shopping small businesses is a way to keep your community vibrant," say Karlee May of the Downtown Boise Association (DBA). "Having that exciting atmosphere to go shop in – and to remember that the small businesses need your support just as much as anybody else.”

jah / Flickr

The District that keeps irrigation water flowing to Ada and Canyon County has sent out a final warning to 83 people to pay up or face losing their homes.

The Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District (NMID) provides irrigation water to 69,000 acres of farmland, homes and commercial property. Every year, it charges property owners a tax, to pay for upkeep on the canals, laterals, drains and dams in the water system. Many owners don’t realize they owe the tax, even if they don’t use the irrigation water.

Courtesy Boise Alternative Shelter Co-op

There are two ideas being talked about in Boise to house chronically homeless people. You can think of them as the Eugene model and the Salt Lake City model.

Chris Harrison / Flickr Creative Commons

It took a while, but Idaho motorists are finally getting to save big at the pump. The average gallon of gas in the state costs $2.26, compared to $2.21 nationally.

Dave Carlson with AAA Idaho says prices have dropped especially in the last two months.

“Idaho is slow to react to other market factors," says Carlson. "Part of that makes sense because we’re isolated from any other competition. So it seems like we’re always slow – especially getting to the lower prices.”

Boise Co-Op North End Local Organic
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise Co-op has been in its North End location since 1996. And as of Friday, a second store will open at the Village shopping center in Meridian.

The Treasure Valley’s growth in recent years is one of the reasons the natural food store is expanding. Mo Valko is in charge of marketing for Boise Co-op. She says they’ve heard from members, or co-owners as she calls them, who want to shop at the North End store but don’t want to deal with traffic.

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

After years of losing money on his east Boise rental property, things are now changing for Kelley Creamer.

Creamer owns a small two-bedroom home that he and his wife bought in 2004. They fixed it up with high-end kitchen appliances, cabinets and granite countertops. They lived in the house until they purchased another home and moved into it. 

It was 2010 and Boise was still suffering from the effects of the housing downturn. Creamer says had the couple sold their first home, they would’ve lost around $20,000.

Data: MSAC and NARPM / / Graph: Lacey Daley

One of the emerging issues in the Treasure Valley over the last few years is the shrinking number of affordable housing units. As the housing market has improved and people continue to move to the area, rents have gone up and the number of available units has also declined. Our Adam Cotterell has been following the issue and he briefed All Things Considered host Samantha Wright on what many who deal with housing issues in the public, nonprofit and business sectors are calling a low-income housing crisis.

Economic development officials in Boise have announced a publicly traded company that offers cloud-based payroll and human capital management software has selected the city for its next expansion. 

Paylocity says it plans to create 500 jobs in the city over the next five years. Areas of employment include client services, implementation, technical services and software development. 

A company official says Paylocity picked Boise because of its “expanding tech presence and a flourishing community and culture.” 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise’s Glenbrook Apartments made headlines two months ago when its tenants received eviction notices. Owners wanted to renovate and raise rents and they wanted everyone out in order to do that. This was the most dramatic instance, but people all over the Treasure Valley are being forced out of their homes due to rent hikes.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Read more about the homeless camp near downtown Boise here.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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