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West End Buildings

Boiseís West End was officially established in 1903 with itís first recorded plat. Two years later Fairview Avenue was paved, and a year after that the Coast Lumber Company built itís mill just off the new street near the river. Boise annexed the area in 1912, and it grew as an industrial core well into the 1920s and 30s. Itís early economy was primarily based off itís proximity to the rail corridor; it's businesses including a series of petroleum tank farms, gravel pits, slaughterhouses, and car lots. The area grew as the north end began to sprawl along Boiseís light rail line, and the region as a whole slowly became a suburban connection between downtown Boise and Eagle, facilitated largely with the increase of automobiles. The west end found itself in decline in the late 1940s when the oil tanks of the Oregon Short Lines rerouted, dragging the businesses reliant upon them out of the rail corridor. 1992 struck another blow with the addition of the connector (I-184) which completely bypassed the area around 30th street, causing businesses to suffer. The west end is just recently finding a new footing in Boise as the city once again realizes the potential for this underutilized area. In 2012 the river recreation and water surfing park was dedicated, and a year later Whitewater Park Boulevard was opened, with Mayor Bieter formally christening the area the ďWest EndĒ once again. The area today stands ready for development, with over 10% of itís land in prime condition for developers, and a workforce of over 40,000 in a 2 mile radius. If Boise is proactive, we may soon see the rebirth of a vast neighborhood with exponential potential. by Courtney King with information from the West End Neighborhood

 
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