Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pace picks up on Idaho Falls construction projects

When there's a hole being dug, people want to know what it is going to be. On First Street, this will be Turtle & Crane's third assisted living unit.
Spring may be a month away, but since the weather warmed up (relatively speaking) the construction season is heating up around Idaho Falls. It might be hard to top the $83 million in project valuation that distinguished 2012, but with two new schools going up and a number of other projects being talked about it could be close.

If you've been out First Street past Woodruff Avenue, you might have noticed a big hole in the ground near Cardon's. It is going to be Turtle and Crane's third assisted living facility, and at 8,683 square feet it will also be the largest.

A foundation has also been poured at 2680 North Holmes, across from Vicker's, for The Gun Shop. Owner Casey Wheeler has laid plans for an 8,000 square foot store, with a valuation of $330,000, according to the city of Idaho Falls Building Department.

After a significant period of waiting, remodeling work is finally under way at 2196 Channing, behind Dixie's Diner, where the new Social Security Administration office will be going in. Morgan Construction is the contractor on the project, valued at $375,000 by the city.

Before they were awarded the bid, the Venture One commercial development company worked for three years with the General Services Administration to make a deal involving 6,100 square feet in the building that also houses the UPS Store and Batteries Plus. The space is being refitted to accommodate about 60 people.

For all the red tape, the upside is 10-year fixed lease with a five-year extension option, said Venture One owner Shane Murphy. The plan has been to have people moved in by April.

On the food front, a building plan has been filed for Carl's Jr. at the corner of West Broadway and Utah Avenue, where the Arctic Circle once stood. The architect on the project is Erstad Architects of Boise.

Last of all, Brian Tomsett of the city building department said he received a phone call from a sign company working with Panda Express, asking about regulations and height restrictions on Utah Avenue near Wal-Mart. Efforts to reach a person in the Panda Express real estate department were unsuccessful, but you can be sure we'll keep at it.