Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Jack’s Urban Meeting Place - Boise

Site Background

A portion of the Jack's Urban Meeting Place (JUMP) project area was used as a train yard facility from the early 1900s to the mid-1980s. This three-block area bounded by 9th, 15th, Front, and Myrtle streets, known as Capital Station, was operated by Oregon Shortline Railroad followed by Union Pacific Railroad. Capital Station tenants operated petroleum facilities, coal storage and distribution facilities, grain warehouses, lumber yards, and furniture warehouses.

JUMP MapSite area before construction (Figure 2 map, URS report, December 2009)

HDR, Inc., performed Phase I and II environmental site assessments in 2007 for a portion of the property. These assessments indicated the area had a history of ground water and soil contamination related to past industrial activities. The Phase I report indicated remedial activities had been performed at the site, including a soil vapor extraction system to address tetrachloroethene (also referred to as tetrachloroethylene or perchloroethene [PERC or PCE]) ground water contamination underlying the site originating from a yet unknown offsite point source (HDR 2007a).

Site Investigation Process

In October 2009, JRS Properties III, LLC, applied to the Brownfields Program for assessment assistance, specifically a Phase II limited subsurface investigation. This assessment was requested to determine potential risks to construction workers, potential vapor issues, and if special handling or disposal of excavated soils and ground water were needed. The private entity was supported by Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC), the Greater Boise Auditorium District, and former Boise city councilman Alan Shealy.

Based on historical site uses, the following soil and ground water potential contaminants of concern (COCs) were identified:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including the petroleum VOCs benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX); ethylene dibromide; 1,2 dichloroethane; naphthalene; and methyl-tert butyl ether
  • Semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), including pentachlorophenol and creosols
  • Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), including the petroleum PAHs
  • Arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, selenium, silver, and mercury (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act metals)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) gasoline-range, diesel-range and residual-range organics for areas of suspected petroleum contamination

The vapor potential COCs are VOCs.

In November 2009, DEQ contracted with URS (Washington Division) to conduct a Phase II environmental site assessment on the site. The scope of services included soil, ground water, and vapor sampling for potential COCs to assist the JUMP project with contingency planning for proper soil and water management during construction activities.

JUMP Soil Vapor SampleSoil vapor samples were collected at the site
(URS photo from December 2009 report)

A total of 14 soil vapor samples were collected. Many of the samples had VOC detections of elevated levels of tetrachloroethene; 1, 2, 4-trimethylbenzene; benzene; ethylbenzene, naphthalene; 1, 3-butadiene; and chloroform.

In addition, 44 soil samples were collected and nearly all had VOC detections, none of which exceeded the respective residential use screening level (RUSL) or initial default target level (IDTL). A small number of SVOC detections exceeded their respective RUSL or IDTL. None of the samples collected had detections of PCBs.

JUMP Push RigA direct push rig is set up (URS photo from December 2009 report)

The following recommendations were provided to DEQ to develop a better understanding of the types, concentrations, and distributions of potential contaminants at the JUMP site:

  • Results of VOC detections in the soil vapor samples should be considered when planning and constructing the structures designated for human occupancy.
  • Any construction that requires excavation should be carefully monitored, as the environmental media and wastes encountered during this investigation and sample results to date may not fully characterize all wastes buried at the site that potentially require removal and disposal as part of the JUMP construction phase. Contaminated soils and wastes should be carefully sorted from any clean cover or native underlying soils and disposed of in accordance with state and federal regulations. During excavation activities, care should be taken to note, segregate, and sample any soils with staining, odors, or other contamination characteristics to assist with decisions related to waste disposal options.
  • The Phase II investigation was designed based on the construction drawings and mass excavation plan information available in October 2009. The locations and depths selected for sampling of soil, ground water, and soil vapor were based on the areas and depths proposed for excavation and human occupancy. Any changes in excavation depths or the mass excavation footprint and any changes related to the proposed locations for occupancy may warrant additional soil or soil vapor sampling.

Total Assessment funds expended:  $90,708.00

Acreage assessed: 7.5 acres

Economic Stimulus in Full Effect

JUMP Conceptual DesignConceptual design provided by JUMP

Two structures are being built on the site:

Simplot Co. Headquarters

The main office building will be on Front Street between 10th and 11th streets. A separate annex on Front between 9th and 10th will connect to the main building via pedestrian bridges. The building is slated for company use only; no retail or commercial uses are planned and the bridge will be for company use only.

Size: Nine stories, 334,000 square feet

Cost: Not released

Owner: Simplot Co.

Architect: Adamson Associates, Pacific Palisades, California

JUMP Creative CenterImage provided by JUMP

Jack's Urban Meeting Place (JUMP)

This memorial to the late Simplot family patriarch and agricultural giant, who lived to be 99, will include an event venue, a museum, an outdoor park, multistory slides, and five studios for arts and crafts classes. J.R. Simplot’s collection of antique tractors and steam engines—some weighing more than 12 tons—will be displayed throughout the site on outdoor terraces, parking decks, the sculpture garden, and in a park. This nonprofit creative center and community meeting place is set for completion in 2015.

Size: Six stories, 65,000 square feet

Cost: $70 million

Owner: Simplot Family Foundation

Architect: Adamson Associates, Pacific Palisades, California

JUMP ViewJUMP project facing west

Economic impact

To date, the project has created more than 1,200 local jobs and has employed more than 750 workers from 40 different subcontracting companies. Workers have poured more than 26,000 cubic yards of concrete (equivalent to 100 miles of sidewalk that is 4 feet wide and 4 inches deep) and have erected more than 2.5 million pounds of steel (equivalent to about 700 cars). This development has been a huge boon for Boise as it suffered from high unemployment rates.

The project has been using green building practices since the beginning and has diverted more than 7,500 tons of construction waste from the local landfill.

The project is conforming to the River Street-Myrtle Street Master Plan, prepared by CCDC and adopted by the Boise City Council in 2004. This plan encourages building designs that transform megastructures into a series of building masses that are more human scaled and less monumental.

The corporate headquarters will have a main office building between 11th and 10th Streets and a conference annex between 9th and 10th Streets. It will provide workspace for nearly 1,000 people and will contribute to the vitality of the Connector area, as well as to the adjacent urban neighborhoods. The right-of-way opening on 10th Street under the pedestrian bridge will be maintained as outdoor pedestrian space, allowing foot traffic connectivity with 10th Street.

The proposed office building eliminates all surface parking that would be associated with this project and will provide publicly accessible open space, as well as institutional uses. A below-grade parking garage is under construction and will eventually underlie the entire site. All above-grade areas are either developed as buildings or used for publicly accessible open space.

The overall site design creates safe and convenient routes for walking and bicycling, as well as connectivity with an already existing and expanding alternative transportation infrastructure for Boise's transportation needs. Per zoning code, the ground floor of new buildings is required to accommodate pedestrian-friendly elements. Additionally, at least 70 percent of the building's ground level, street-facing facade is to be constructed to be a public sidewalk or plaza. Storefront exteriors will be located along pedestrian routes.

Recreation Benefits

The publicly accessible walkway, known as the Pioneer Path Walkway, will lead through the middle of the park. The new annex building reinforces the Pioneer Path and the pedestrian activities by adding a proposed new restaurant with outdoor dining. This area will help connect activities between Boise Downtown (BODO) via the Pioneer Path and the event lawn at the corner of 9th and Front Streets with JUMP and the park.

Staff Contacts

Brownfields Program Coordinator
Eric Traynor
DEQ State Office
Waste Management and Remediation Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0565

Additional Information

Jack's Urban Meeting Place (JUMP)

Related Pages

Brownfields Assessment Program

Brownfields Grants

Voluntary Cleanup Program