Monday, July 29, 2019

Love at First Bite plans expansion to 5,000 square feet

Love at First Bite, one of the first stores at Snake River Landing, will be turning 10 this year and expanding in size.
Love at First Bite Mercantile announced Monday that it is expanding its gifts and oils shop at 901 Pier View Drive, in Snake River Landing. The expansion is under way and will increase the size of the store from around 3,000 square feet to nearly 5,000 square feet. This is the second expansion by the shop, which opened in 2009 with 1,500 square feet.

Located across from The Pier and the river, Love at First Bite is a unique, locally-owned shop that features truffles and old-fashioned candies and sodas, inspired cupcakes, eclectic gifts and an expansive line of specialty oils and vinegars known as the Twig and Vine Olive Oil Company.

"We have enjoyed being part of Snake River Landing since we opened nearly ten years ago," said owner Juli Richards. “With the growth in the area and in Idaho Falls, we are so happy to be able to grow along with it and to offer even more items in the shop.”

Love at First Bite will remain open during the expansion, which should be finished early this fall.

In addition to the Love at First Bite expansion, The Falls Apartments in Snake River Landing is also in expansion mode. Kartchner Inc. is currently developing 96 additional apartments, adding to the 228-unit complex that opened in 2017.

“It’s exciting to see businesses grow in Snake River Landing, particularly one that is locally owned and operated,” said Eric Isom, Snake River Landing's chief development officer. “With a positive environment, beautifully maintained grounds, steady traffic and ample parking, we look forward to seeing more businesses thrive in Snake River Landing.”

Monday, July 22, 2019

City of Idaho Falls to hold meeting, open house on EPA grant

The city of Idaho Falls Community Development Services Department will be hosting a community meeting and open house to discuss the Brownfield Assessment Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The meeting will be held Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m. at 574 East 4th Street (the former Boy Scout Office).

Last year, the city, the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency, and Bonneville Metropolitan Planning Organization received a three-year grant from EPA for $600,000. Since receiving the grant, project staff have done background work such as creating a brownfield inventory.

While the grant monies may be used anywhere within the city, the focus of the grant work is primarily within the city core, covering areas including Northgate Mile, First Street, downtown and the south downtown areas. As the project now moves towards more public activities such as reuse planning and environmental assessments, city staff and the project’s lead consultant from Stantec hope to use the meeting to accomplish a variety of purposes.

“We want to make sure that those who come to the meeting will be able to understand the purpose of the grant and learn how property owners can directly benefit from the funds,” said Brad Cramer, director of the Community Development and Services Department.  “We also want to seek input on properties and areas where the community members feel the grant should be used for revitalization.”

Staff will also be scheduling appointments with interested property owners to provide technical assistance on environmental, cleanup, and other redevelopment issues on their properties. For more information on this event or to schedule an appointment, please contact Kerry Beutler, the city's assistant planning director at 208-612-8278.

Bank of Idaho Holding Co. completes private placement of stock

Jeff Newgard
Bank of Idaho Holding Co., the parent company of Bank of Idaho, announced Friday that it has completed a $15 million private placement of its capital stock. The investor in the private placement consisted of certain affiliates of Castle Creek Capital LLC, a well-established, sophisticated institutional investor that specializes in the community banking sector.

Proceeds from the private placement will be used to facilitate strategic initiatives and support the company's organic growth and market expansion activities throughout the state of Idaho. While Castle Creek will join the company’s shareholder base, the existing management team and board of directors will continue to lead the
bank’s efforts to provide exceptional products and services to the customers and communities that the bank serves.

"This is a momentous day for Bank of Idaho. We are excited to see the opportunities these resources will bring us as we strive to further differentiate ourselves as the preferred financial institution for small business banking throughout the state,” said Jeff Newgard, the bank's president and CEO. “As a result of this capital raise, we have significantly strengthened our balance sheet to support the next stage of our company's strategic initiatives. This represents a solid vote of confidence for our strategic
plan, as we continue on a path to providing a truly unique and personal banking experience for our small business clients across the state.”

Hovde Group LLC served as the sole placement agent for the transaction. Ernest J. Panasci, Partner at Stinson, LLP, served as legal counsel to Bank of Idaho Holding Co. for the transaction.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Credit Union buys primary naming rights to Idaho Falls event center

An artist's rendering of what the event center might look like.
The Idaho Falls Auditorium District announced on Tuesday a new long-term partnership with Mountain America Credit Union that includes naming rights to the long-anticipated facility.

"Partnerships of private enterprise and government are absolutely necessary in order to make projects the size of this one a reality,” said IFAD Board Chairwoman Terri Gadzik in a press release. “They have stepped up to the plate to help the event center team change the face of the economy in eastern Idaho forever."

Mountain America has purchased the primary naming rights to the Mountain America Center for $4.5 million. The credit union has more than 840,000 members throughout five states, including 15 branches in Idaho, and has reported $9 billion in assets. Previously, Mountain America purchased naming rights to the Mountain America Performing Arts Centre in Sandy, Utah, where its headquarters are located.

The total cost of the Idaho Falls project has been estimated at $62 million. No date for groundbreaking has been announced, but infrastructure is being built on Event Center Drive at Snake River Landing, which has donated the land. IFAD has posted a $10 million private fund-raising goal, of which Mountain America's contribution represents 45 percent.

The district reported $11.7 million in assets at the end of May, including more than $10 million in its accounts. It has raised $12 million from a 19 percent hotel bed tax, which voters approved of in a 2011 vote. Certificates of participation, a lease-financing tool, will allow the district to sell shares of the event center’s lease revenues.

The center has been envisioned as the home for a new Idaho Falls minor league hockey team and also a venue for concerts, sporting events, conferences, and other community events. The design of the 48,000-square-foot venue features an arena with seating for up to 5,500 people and a state-of-the-art convention center with flexible configurations.

As naming rights partner, Mountain America’s branding will be visible throughout the facility, with Mountain America Center prominent on the interior and exterior of the building, including a digital marquee sign along the freeway. Additional naming rights opportunities are available inside the facility.

“IFAD is committed to delivering an event center to the Idaho Falls community,” said Rob Spear, IFAD's executive director. “Today Mountain America provided us with the financial momentum needed to move this project forward.”

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Great Race fund-raiser in need of volunteers

CEI Foundation is still in need of volunteers for its premier annual fund-raiser, The Great Race for Education, which takes place this Friday at Snake River Landing.

Since it began more than 10 years ago, the Great Race has raised more than $300,000 for scholarships at College of Eastern Idaho, formerly Eastern Idaho Technical College. Each year has a different theme. This years is the “Flamingo” Edition.

The foundation is looking for people who are not team owners or on a team. The time commitment is from approximately 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

"Students this is a great way for you to fulfill your community service and see all the wonderful people who help provide scholarship opportunities," a CEI press release said. "If you commit to assist we just ask that you do show up and check your e-mail for volunteer information."

More than 100 volunteers are required to assist at race stations, set up field challenge challenge stations, judge challenges at the main event area and clean up. CEI employees who are interested need to ask their immediate supervisor for permission to assist.

To volunteer, follow this link to the Great Race webpage: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b054ca5a72faafa7-july