CVS Pharmacy Proposed Project

What is the CVS Pharmacy Project?

An Indiana-based developer has submitted a proposal to build a CVS Pharmacy on State Street between 17th and 16th.

If approved, the project would include the removal of the Arcade Building on the southeast corner of 17th and State Street. This building currently provides 23 affordable housing units. Four historic-eligible homes east of 17th on Jefferson Street also would be removed, leaving one remaining house near the corner of 16th and Jefferson.

If approved, a 19,000 square foot pharmacy, including a drive-through window and a 48-spot parking lot would take their place on almost 3/4 of this block.

CVS Area Map

What’s Wrong With a Pharmacy?

In a single word, nothing. The pharmacy itself is not entirely the issue with this project. Yes, it is true that there are already two pharmacies, Albertsons across the street and Rite-Aide a half block away, near this proposed site. The problems stem from the type of development this project is and the impact it will have on the character and shape of our neighborhood, along with those living directly on the development site.

  • Housing Choices
    The Arcade building and the three homes on Jefferson Street contribute to the
    variety of choices in the neighborhood by providing both smaller rental units and
    single family homes. In addition, many Arcade Building residents feel they would not have other housing options as reported by KIVI here.
  • Accessibility to Amenities
    Placing a parking lot and retail space with a drive up window does not align with the city’s desire to encourage walking and biking connectivity. Putting another parking lot in the place of residences and mixed-use buildings deters alternative modes of transportation like walking and bicycling.
  • Avoid Auto-Orientated Building Forms
    Auto-orientated additions, like a drive up window and parking lot,  will not enhance the neighborhood. This type of addition will cause more traffic on the current pedestrian and cyclist friendly routes of 17th Street and Jefferson Street.


What should I do?

There are several things that you can do to help the West Downtown Neighborhood Association, along with the other four Boise Neighborhood Associations opposing this project.

  • Submit a Letter
    • You can use our form letter that the association put together to submit to Boise City Planning. Simply open the letter, copy and paste the text into an email, and send to Include the case number, CUP17-00072, in the subject line. Please feel free to draft your own unique letter and send it in the same way.
  • Sign the Petition
    • You can find the petition here, along with comments from those interested in the project.
  • Attend the December 4 Hearing
    • We have a chance to make a big impact if we all stand together in opposition at the Planning and Zoning Hearing on December 4. It starts at 6:00 pm at Boise City Hall Council Chamber, 150 N. Capitol Blvd. 3rd Floor. Members of the public are encouraged to share their opinions and concerns. If you would like to share your thoughts for three minutes, please fill out the interest form on the right-hand side of the page. This will help us organize our interested speakers. Also, check out some of our tips for making the most out of your testimony.