MicroTech Systems - November 2019

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November 2019

On Everyone’s Radar The Good and Bad of Boise’s Boom

For years, Boise residents have rejoiced and cringed when our city was listed among some of the greatest places to live in the U.S. We see it everywhere, but there’s this strange phenomenon of mixing city pride with wanting to keep the best the Treasure Valley has to offer a secret.

the dad of a sophomore in college and a junior and senior in high school, I can’t help but wonder if they will be able to afford to live in the Treasure Valley someday. And then I wonder about my employees. I want to ensure I’m paying them a livable wage, and I believe I do. The influx of people moving into Boise makes jobs readily available, but I often wonder if wages will be able to grow with housing costs. Yet, dispersed among the longer commute times, rising home prices, and uncertainty is some good. There are elements to our city that certainly didn’t exist when I was growing up. Boise is vibrant, and there are more things to do than ever before. It’s amazing to see the next crazy thing that moves into Boise each week. You can’t deny how much more fun the city has become! With that growth, there’s a more diverse working landscape in our city today. Start-ups and new businesses feel more confident in their ability to thrive in a city that’s booming the way Boise has. In fact, that was the main reason why so many business owners at the EO conference were asking me about Boise. The prospect of moving a business out here is popular. Boise’s growth is a delicate balance of good and bad, and I’m not sure we will know what this rapid expansion means for the Treasure Valley until sometime in the future. Sure, traffic could always improve, but I’m happy to see Boise developing a presence that people across the country want to experience.

But I didn’t realize just how widespread the word of Boise’s growth had gotten until I attended a conference a few months ago.

I was at an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) conference this past September, and whenever business owners from California, Colorado, Arizona, and elsewhere discovered I was from Boise, Idaho, I had to field numerous questions from them about where I live. Among other queries, I heard, “What’s the development out there like? What are commercial and residential properties like? What’s going on over there?” I was in disbelief each time I was grilled by a fellow entrepreneur. Part of me was proud, of course, to experience this kind of recognition. Finally, the city I have called home all my life is getting the attention it deserves after all the growth it has gone through to get here. (Those who grew up here know just how much this city has grown in the past few decades!) Yet, my attitude about this hasn’t always been positive. The first boom I remember Boise experiencing was in the early 1990s when I was in college. I was in the camp that opposed the boom, only noticing the increased traffic and rent spikes.

Above all else, I’m proud to say Boise has always been my home.

Today, I still feel those pinches. Roadways in Boise are more clogged than ever, and home prices continue to shock me. As

–Randy Amorebieta

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