Parking and Construction Forces Local Business Out of Downtown Boise
Construction and lack of on street parking. Those have been major gripes people have had about Downtown Boise for the last few years. Not only are they inconvenient, they've negatively impacted existing Downtown businesses.
Over the past few years, Downtown Boise's seen some booming construction - from the 8th & Main tower and Grove Plaza remodel to JUMP finally becoming a reality and City Hall getting a face lift. Each of those projects brought a series of lane closures through Downtown and in some cases temporarily took away already hard to come by street parking. Chances are you've spent at least 20-30 minutes driving around your destination trying to find parking at least once, but ultimately caved and decided to pay for parking in one of the garages. It's a pain in the butt, isn't it? Oh, and the new rules enforcing meters until 8 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. haven't made things any easier.
In the grand scheme of things, Boise's parking situation is probably easier to navigate than major cities but the perception from locals is that it's awful. That's why many are choosing to do their shopping at locations with ample surface lot parking like The Village at Meridian or Boise Towne Square Mall, hurting Downtown business's bottom line.
In fact that public perception of Downtown Boise's parking (or therefore lack of) is one of the reasons that LUX Fashion Lounge in Downtown Boise is closing up shop after 14 years in Downtown Boise. The store announced their plans to close via their Facebook page on March 6th. At the same time the large "25% Off Everything! Store Closing!" sign went up in the window, so did a note stating the reasons for the owner's decision.
- Too much construction in downtown Boise for too long.
- Personal family reasons.
- The public's perception of downtown parking.
- Online competition and prices. Economic downturn for brick and mortar retail businesses.
- the moving of the store. (The store moved from 8th Street next to Rediscovered Books to the Eastman Building that's also home to the Vandal Shop a little under two years ago.)
The second hand clothing store will stay open until they sell "enough stuff" or until the building owners rent their space to a new merchant.