Thursday, April 29, 2021

Event center project applies for building permit from city

An artist's rendering of what the event center might look like

Things are moving with the Mountain America Center, which applied Monday for a building permit from the city of Idaho Falls.

The application, from the Salt Lake firm of CRSA, is for a 123,697-square-foot structure at 1690 Event Center Drive, with a job valuation of $51 million. The owner is Pioneer Front Properties LLC of Idaho Falls.

Here is a breakdown of fees to be paid:

  • COMMERCIAL PERMIT: $138,472.73
  • FIRE REVIEW: $22,225.63
  • PLAN CHECK: $90,007.27
  • EROSION CONTROL: $100.00
  • WATER SERVICES: $111,132.00
  • SEWER CONNECTION: $21,917.00
  • TOTAL FEES CHARGED: $383,854.63

"The project is as shovel ready as any project in the country," said Rob Spear, executive director of the Idaho Falls Auditorium District. Speaking at a mid-April Idaho Falls Online Lunch-In, Spears said they are looking at having the project finished in October 2022.

In the past year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the district spent $21 million. This was on the construction pad, parking lot, Event Center Drive (in partnership with Ball Ventures, owners of Snake River Landing and donors of the land for the center), and improvements to Pioneer Road.

A bond underwriter has been hired, he said, and they are negotiating with an investor. Bateman Hall/Hogan is the general contractor, and the operating agreement with Centennial Management has been finalized.

After bids went out earlier this year, a final guaranteed maximum price of $56.5 million was settled on March 31. This is the actual construction cost, Spears said.

With donations they've received rom Admiral Beverage, Teton Auto Group, Cooper Norman and MDU Foundation, the district faces a financing gap of $2.21 million. While Spear said he is confident they can close it, "The faster we can close it the sooner we can convince the investor that we're a good bet on moving forward." Naming rights and endorsements are still available.

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