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Downtown Idaho Falls celebrates opening of The Broadway

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City officials and members of the community gathered in the Broadway plaza to celebrate the opening of the development | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS — A new downtown development is promising to bring new business opportunities to the heart of Idaho Falls.

On Tuesday, developers and city officials gathered in the plaza at The Broadway to celebrate its opening. Several tenants occupy the new development, including Smokin’ Fins and Lucy’s New York Style Pizzeria, as well as Bank of Idaho and Parsons, Behle and Latimer law office. The middle of the plaza has a splash pad, and there is an underground parking garage on the north side of the development.

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Steve Carr, a business partner with the development company, Oppenheimer Development Corporation, tells EastIdahoNews.com The Broadway has been a vision for about 20 years, but was set in motion about three years ago.

“The hope was to engage more people in downtown Idaho Falls. It’s been 30 years since downtown has had any new construction. We’ve had a lot of remodels, and we love the historic part of downtown, but marrying something new with the historic was important to bring new life and excitement in downtown,” Carr says.

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The Broadway was completed about a month ago when Lucy’s opened. Over the last six months, it’s had a domino effect on other development projects happening in downtown, Mayor Rebecca Casper says.

“Our downtown is evolving as we speak,” Casper said during the celebration. “This development has reminded folks in Idaho Falls that the downtown formula works.”

Casper says the downtown development will benefit the city in many ways.

“It works well for making money, serving customers and clients, and for bringing people together in critical masses for good reasons,” Casper says. “As movement in this downtown area begins to mesmerize all of us, it will be hard to give credit in five years to whoever played the biggest role (in downtown development) because there is so much going on.”

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In addition to increasing the tax base, Carr says the development creates a place people can enjoy.

The new development still has vacant property. Carr says people are interested in that space, but the developers are still trying to determine if those applicants are a good fit at that location.

“We’d love to see another restaurant,” says Carr. “We have a little space on the third floor (above Smokin’ Fins) but we have a couple tenants we have some letters of intent with on that now, so we’re getting really close.”

There are plans to offer an ice skating rink in the plaza during the winter months to continue engaging people all year round.

Carr says they’re excited for the new plaza and the community’s warm reception to it.

“The city is growing. It’s dynamic,” Carr says. “Private-public partnerships are essential to growth and it all comes back to benefit the city in multiple ways. It’s a win-win.”

The Broadway is on the corner of Memorial Drive and Broadway.

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