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BOISE — Interfaith Sanctuary has purchased the former Salvation Army distribution center on State Street that the nonprofit plans to convert into a homeless shelter.

As first reported by the Idaho Statesman, Interfaith Sanctuary on Tuesday finalized a deal to purchase the 2-acre property and filed a conditional use permit application with the city of Boise to renovate the multi-building facility.

Executive Director Jodi Peterson-Stigers told the Idaho Press that Interfaith Sanctuary purchased the building for $2.4 million, funded by a $1 million loan along with $1.4 million in assistance from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association.

Peterson-Stigers said the purchase price was “a steal,” considering Boise’s booming real estate market.

“I think we got really lucky,” she said.

Interfaith Sanctuary plans to convert the facility — located at 4308 W. State St. — into an overnight and daytime homeless shelter, to replace the organization’s current location downtown on River Street, an aging former warehouse that’s “held together by Band-Aids,” Peterson-Stigers said. The new shelter would allow for expanded capacity while bringing under one roof Interfaith Sanctuary’s housing, recovery and education programs.

The proposed shelter has not been well received by potential neighbors, who have suggested it would, among other things, increase crime and lower property values in the Veterans Park neighborhood. In February, hundreds of people, who mostly opposed the shelter, attended a tense virtual meeting on the project. The Veterans Park Neighborhood Association opposes it. And an online petition to resist the project has nearly 2,000 signatures, as of Wednesday.

“We feel strongly given the location and size, as well as the composition of the existing neighborhoods, that this would have potentially profound negative impacts on already vulnerable populations,” the petition says.

In response to neighborhood concerns, Interfaith Sanctuary updated its original plans for the shelter, lowering the number of beds from 278 to roughly 200, with fewer overnight emergency beds and more individual rooms for guests searching for affordable housing who meet employment, sobriety and behavior requirements, BoiseDev reported.

The conditional use permit application is among the first steps to gain city approval for the project. The project likely will go before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission this summer, Peterson-Stigers said.

Ryan Suppe is the Boise City Hall and Treasure Valley business reporter for the Idaho Press. Contact him at 208-344-2055 (ext. 3038). Follow him on Twitter @salsuppe.

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