Sunday, August 28, 2016

Development team selected for Bonneville Hotel restoration

The development team's artistic rendering of a restored Hotel Bonneville.
The Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency has selected The Housing Company, Myers Anderson Architects and Bateman-Hall General Contractors for the renovation of the historic Bonneville Hotel, at Park Avenue and Constitution Way.

In February, the agency issued a Request for Proposal to developers for renovation plans for the structure. Three proposals were received. After eliciting input on the proposals, a public meeting was held Aug. 18, where applicants were invited to make presentations regarding their approaches.

The proposals and public comment were reviewed, and the agency selected the development team during a meeting Aug. 25.

“This was a very difficult decision, as we had to decide between excellent proposals,” said Lee Redford, the Redevelopment Agency’s chairman. “The proposals were submitted by experienced and creative groups. After extensive consideration, we chose to proceed with the proposal presented by The Housing Company. We appreciate the contributions of these developers and their commitment to improving downtown Idaho Falls, and we look forward to the successful completion of this important project.”

The project will be a mixed-use development with commercial, retail, restaurant and residential spaces. The residential spaces will include studio, and one- and two-bedroom units. The estimated project cost is $10 million. Approximately $440,000 will be funded by the agency while the majority of the funding will be provided by housing and historic preservation tax credits.

A copy of the development team's plan can be found here: Bonneville Hotel Proposal.

The agency has held all along that the facades and features of the building, which was completed in 1927, be renewed or restored. Much of the historic interior detail has been removed throughout the years, and the development team plans to remove most of what is inside. “Our proposed scope of work would include a full demolition of the interior space improvements,” said the document that was presented to the Redevelopment Agency. This includes the removal of all existing plumbing and delivery lines and soil lines, down to the basement and from the basement to the street’s main discharge line. All electrical wiring and fixtures will be removed and discarded except for any fixtures with historical value, which will be sent out for repair and rewiring.

The team said that in conversations with people interested in leasing or buying commercial and retail space two issues came up. One was space for food storage, for a small grocery store or restaurant. The other was all the old mattresses, engine blocks and building elements discarded in the first floor space where the restaurant used to be, and the holes in the walls were pipes were patched, electrical lines recently routed. The dishevelment “only intensifies the difficulty potential owners have in seeing what could be.”

THC was responsible for the restoration of the Whitman Hotel in Pocatello. The company also manages more than 1,500 units, currently assessed at over $48 million.

The proposed plan also includes a roof deck at the second level that will be accessible to both commercial and residential occupants. The deck will include landscaping and exterior amenities for dining, events and relaxation.

"The Housing Company, Myers Anderson Architects and Bateman-Hall Contractors are proud to have been selected by the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency for the renovation of the iconic Bonneville Hotel,” said Douglas Peterson, director of The Housing Company. “We look forward to working with the Agency in finalizing a plan that will benefit the community for many years to come,"

The development team will meet individually with the current tenants in good standing to find reasonable and comparable housing in the area. Construction is scheduled to begin in November 2017.

Tammie Whyte joins Thornton Oliver Keller in Idaho Falls

Tammie Whyte
Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate has added Tammie Whyte to its eastern Idaho brokerage services team. Whyte specializes in leasing and selling office, industrial, and commercial real estate.

She brings with her years of real estate, legal and business experience in a career that includes practicing in all areas of real estate law and real estate contractual matters. In 2009, she established TDW Law Contract Services, Inc., where she worked closely with client principals and employees helping in the liquidation of a $1.2 billion portfolio of loan assets. She was also responsible for the oversight of legal services for assets in 17 states as well as assisting in the development of the business processes of the companies and assisting in the successful completion of FDIC audits of the portfolio. Before that, she spent six years managing an independently owned title insurance company in Southeast Idaho.

Whyte completed her undergraduate work at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colo., and earned her Juris Doctorate degree at Creighton University Law School. She has served as the chair of the Citizens Law Academy, president of the Idaho 7th Judicial District Bar Association, and as a board member for a number of Southeastern Idaho charitable organizations.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Carter's opening store in Ammon Town Center

Ever since my Shoptalk days at the Post Register, I have always been grateful for anyone with a question of a piece of information about new business in the community. Regardless of how it may seem, I am not omniscient. Not by a long shot!

Anyway, I got this email from Jonathan Young on Friday and thought I'd share itL

"My wife and I usually go down to Carter's children's clothing stores in the Salt Lake City area every couple of months since those are the closest to Idaho Falls. I was checking their website the other day to see which store was actually closest to us and the results showed a Carter's opening in Ammon Town Center in October. I believe that is the same location as Albertson's and Boot Barn. I figured your website would be a good way to get the word out to families in eastern Idaho that have young children and love Carter's."

And it's true. The store locator on the Carter's Web site shows that Carter's is coming to Ammon Town Center, 2037 S. 25th East.

Carter’s is the leading brand of children’s clothing, gifts and accessories in America, selling more than 10 products for every child born in the U.S. The company dates back to 1865, when William Carter, an immigrant from Derbyshire, England, built a mill in Needham, Mass., and began manufacturing clothing for children. By the early 1960s, the William Carter Co. manufactured at seven mills in Massachusetts and the south. Nothing the company sells today is made in the U.S.A. The Carter family sold the business in 1990, and it was bought by the Berkshire Investment Group in 2001 from for $450 million from Investcorp, the Bahrain-based merchant bank that had bought the company in 1996. Carter’s acquired the Oshkosh B’Gosh line of children’s clothing in 2005. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

INL names new tech deployment director

Jason Stolworthy
Idaho National Laboratory has named Jason Stolworthy as its new Technology Deployment director. Stolworthy worked at INL for a decade before spending the last three years in the country of Qatar, establishing an intellectual property and technology transfer office for the its government.

Technology Deployment works to deploy and transfer INL-developed technologies to the private sector. Over the past decade, INL has signed 697 new technology license agreements, executed 145 competitive research and development agreements, and completed 417 agreements with federal agencies and private sector entities worth nearly $1.4 billion.

“Moving R&D from the lab to the private sector increases the return on investment from federally funded research, and gives more Americans access to cutting-edge energy technologies,” said Amy Lientz, director of INL’s Partnerships, Engagement and Technology Directorate, which oversees Technology Deployment.

An attorney with a law degree from the University of Idaho, Stolworthy also holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biochemistry from Idaho State University and a master’s in engineering from University of Idaho. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Idaho State Bar, and the Montana State Bar.

Before working at INL, he drafted patent applications, provided opinions, and licensed intellectual property for Washington State University Research Foundation, Qatar Foundation, Hamad Medical Center, Stars of Science Reality TV Show and Qatar University. Stolworthy oversaw intellectual property protection, research and technology related agreements, including a group of attorneys and intellectual property specialist in his international work. Stolworthy’s industry experience includes working for FMC, Simplot and Chemonics. He previously taught Government Contract Law at the University of Idaho.

He has served on the Battelle Commercialization Council and was elected by his peers to chair the Technology Transfer Working Group created by congressional legislation in 2005. He has served as vice chair on the Idaho State Bar’s intellectual property committee. He was appointed by the Governor of Idaho to serve on the Idaho Innovation Council, which was instrumental in increasing Idaho’s focus on technology transfer by instituting a technology transfer function at Idaho State University and establishing uniform technology transfer policies for Idaho universities.

Mark Kaczor, who has been the acting Technology Deployment director, was named INL's senior commercialization lead. More information on the new INL Technology Deployment team is available at www.inl.gov.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

EIRMC Imaging Center offers 3D mammography

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center’s Imaging Center has become the first provider in southeast Idaho offering new 3D mammography.

This new technology detects breast cancer earlier and more accurately, which is important when you consider that breast cancer is 99 percent curable when detected early. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

In 2D mammography, the complexities of breast tissue are reduced to a flat image. In contrast, 3D mammography technology takes many images of the breast, layer by layer, increasing accuracy and detection, and reducing false positives significantly. In fact, 3D mammography detects 41 percent  more invasive breast cancers and reduces false positives up to 40 percent. That means less stress for women with nothing to worry about, and faster treatment for women when it matters.

Health insurance covers an annual screening mammogram each year for women 40 and over. There is no additional cost at EIRMC for a 3D mammogram. Additionally, EIRMC does not require a doctor’s referral for a screening mammogram.

The American College of Radiology suggests that women should have a mammogram each year, beginning at age 40.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

GAIN Initiative director named by INL

Dr. Rita Baranwal, new GAIN director
Westinghouse executive Rita Baranwal has been selected to head the Idaho National Laboratory-led Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative. As GAIN director, Baranwal will lead efforts to support the development of innovative reactor technologies in the U.S. She will begin in her new role Aug. 22.

“Rita brings a wealth of industry experience and nuclear fuels and materials science expertise to her new role,” said Dr. Kemal Pasamehmetoglu, associate lab director of Idaho National Laboratory’s Nuclear Science & Technology directorate, who announced the selection. “I’m confident that she will provide strong leadership for the GAIN program as it continues to grow as a catalyst for innovation in advanced nuclear technologies.”

Baranwal served most recently as director of Technology Development in the Engineering Center of Excellence at Westinghouse Electric Corp., and has held many other roles in nuclear fuel design and engineering. She holds a doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of Michigan.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Vietnamese restaurant opens on Idaho Falls side of Hitt Road

The interior of Cyclo on Hitt Road, Idaho Falls' new Vietnamese restaurant.
I’ve said for years that Idaho Falls would not reach full culinary maturity until it had a Vietnamese restaurant. That has finally come to pass with the opening of Cyclo at 2994 S 25th East, where Togo’s was briefly.

If you want to visit the Facebook page, here it is: https://www.facebook.com/cyclo.VietnameseCuisine/home. There are plenty of reviews already, and you can look at them here: Cyclo reviews. For a link to the menu, click here: http://cyclocuisine.com/menu/.

The registered agent on file for the restaurant is Cody Do of Boise, who filed papers in March. Cyclo is a common name for Vietnamese restaurants in the United States. The cyclo is a three-wheel bicycle taxi that appeared in Vietnam during the French colonial period after a failed attempt to introduce rickshaws. A double-seat cyclo is supported by the two front wheels, with the driver sitting behind.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

INL interns to give presentations Thursday

Interns at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory will present information on the work they accomplished over the summer during an expo and awards ceremony Thursday at the Energy Innovation Laboratory, 775 University Boulevard.

The awards ceremony will be at 1 p.m., with the expo immediately afterward. Both events are open to the public.

This year boasts more participants than last year’s expo, with approximately 100 of INL’s 350 interns expected to participate. INL interns span educational levels from high school students to university undergraduate and graduate students. Over the summer, interns worked alongside researchers who specialize in a variety of fields ranging from geothermal energy to computational modeling, nuclear science and technology.

INL also will recognize the Mentor of the Year, an award given to an employee who has done an exceptional job working with students. Seven awards will be handed out, including first place in four expo categories, best digital/graphic, best technical presentation, and best overall expo entry.

INL is part of the DOE's complex of national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

See more INL news at www.inl.gov. Follow @INL on Twitter or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IdahoNationalLaboratory.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Jackson Hole Junction groundbreaking set for Thursday morning

A conceptual rendering of how Jackson Hole Junction might be laid out. 
There will be a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning at 11 on the Jackson Hole Junction development, on Sunnyside Road between Teton Toyota and Interstate 15.

The 42-acre project was announced in June 2015. Matt Morgan of Morgan Construction is spearheading the project.

Millions of dollars in development has taken place since Sunnyside Road was connected with Interstate 15 in 2007: Teton Toyota and Teton Volkswagen, Smith Honda and Smith Chevrolet and Ron Sayer BMW, which is due to open in spring 2017.

Morgan told the Post Register in 2015 that the conceptual plan for Jackson Hole Junction calls for one big box store and a hotel, banks, a gas and convenience store, fast food restaurants and sit-down restaurants, smaller retailers and some two-story office space. He said they plan to develop the land in phases over five to seven years.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Culver's restaurant opening on Pancheri Drive, in Taylor Crossing development

Culver’s will be opening a restaurant in Idaho Falls on Pancheri Drive, in the Taylor Crossing on the River development. It will be the fourth in Idaho. The first was opened in Twin Falls in 2014, by Eugene Smith, a fourth-generation Wisconsin dairy farmer who left agriculture and moved west to open a franchise. As an alumnus of Ricks College, where he studied dairy farming, Smith had some experience with eastern Idaho.

The chain dates back to 1984, when George Culver, his wife, Ruth, son Craig, and daughter-in-law Lea, opened the first Culver’s Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers in Sauk City, Wisc. Franchising began in 1987, and after a shaky start the chain expanded into Milwaukee and Madison. By the end of 2011, there were 445 Culver’s restaurants in 19 states.

For more information, here is the link to the company’s Web site: www.culvers.com.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Comments sought on Bonneville Hotel renovation proposals

An old postcard of the Hotel Bonneville, built in 1927.
The Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency Executive Board is seeking public comment on three proposals it has received for renovation of the historic Bonneville Hotel in at Constitution Way and Park Avenue.

The agency issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in February, inviting developers to submit renovation plans for the structure. Three proposals were received. One was from a group consisting of The Housing Company, Myers Anderson Architects and Bateman-Hall General Contractors. The second was from  Widmyer Corp. of Coeur d'Alene. The third was from Thomas Development Co. of Boise.

Copies of each plan can be found here:

Proposal 1

Proposal 2

Proposal 3

Built in 1927 by a community-based consortium, the Bonneville was for years downtown’s prime meeting space. “(It) plays an important role in strengthening downtown Idaho Falls,” said Lee Radford, the Redevelopment Agency’s chairman. “Because this is an important decision for our downtown, the Redevelopment Agency hopes to hear from members of the public regarding which of the proposals best accomplishes the criteria and goals identified in the RFP published earlier this year.”

The agency will hold a public meeting Aug. 18 at noon in the City Council Chambers, 680 Park Avenue. Each of the three project applicants will make a presentation.

Prior to that meeting, the Redevelopment Agency invites members of the public to review the proposals and submit comments regarding which proposals would best accomplish the goals and criteria stated in the RFPs. Comments can be submitted by email to the Redevelopment Agency’s executive director Brad Cramer at bcramer@idahofallsidaho.gov. The deadline for comments is Aug. 17 at 5 p.m.