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CALDWELL — Caldwell annexed about 115 acres into city limits to allow for the development of North Ranch Business Park.

Caldwell City Council approved the annexation at a public hearing Friday afternoon during a special meeting. Local developer Ball Ventures Ahlquist intends to build a mixed-use business park on the property near Highway 20/26 and Smeed Parkway, similar to Sky Ranch Business Park on the south side of the highway.

Caldwell Economic Development Director Steve Fultz said the land was previously owned by St. Luke’s Health System, which planned to build a hospital before relocating to the Treasure Valley Marketplace in Nampa. Before the meeting, the land was within Caldwell urban renewal district boundaries, but not within Caldwell’s city limits.

Ball Ventures Ahlquist intends to build light industrial buildings through the majority of the property, with some medical or retail buildings planned at the front of the land near the highway, Fultz said. He estimated the business park could create more than 2,000 jobs, but said no companies have closed on the property yet.

The site neighbors a residential area. Three residents spoke against the development during the public hearing, arguing that industrial buildings should not be built so close to their homes.

“I really kind of resent (Ball Ventures Ahlquist) for saying they want to be good neighbors,” Caldwell resident Candice Louise said. “Because this is definitely going to diminish my property value.”

Development at the site could continue even if it wasn’t annexed into the city, Fultz said. With the project now within city limits, he said that allows the city to connect utilities such as water and sewer services to the property, and allows city staff to start recruiting businesses that would benefit Caldwell.

Erin Bamer is the Nampa/Caldwell reporter. Contact her at Follow on Twitter @ErinBamer.

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