August 24, 2015

J.R. Simplot Co.'s new headquarters joins JUMP in major new development for Boise

Images from Adamson Associates [enlarge]
JUMP is billed as “an environment for inspiring human potential,” with play zones, maker space, dance classes and a five-story slide.

J.R. Simplot continues to make a mark on Boise, even seven years after the billionaire potato producer's death.

Two big projects are under construction downtown: a new headquarters for the company Simplot started in 1929 and JUMP, which the Simplot Family Foundation describes as a “creative center” and community gathering place.

Both are on the same block, which is bounded by Front, Myrtle, Ninth and 11st streets.

When the new L-shaped headquarters opens a year from now, it will bring together 400 employees now in offices around Boise and 500 who work in One Capital Center, the current headquarters.

J.R. Simplot Co. is a privately held food and agribusiness company focused on plant nutrition, food processing and research. This will be its first new headquarters since 1975.

The new headquarters is a nine-story, 265,000-square-foot building with an adjacent five-story, 60,000-square-foot annex.

A Simplot spokesman wrote in an email that the buildings will have a narrow footprint, high ceilings and lots of glass. There will be an open floor plan and exposed concrete pillars.

About 900 people will work in J.R. Simplot Co.'s new headquarters.

JUMP and the headquarters will share a downtown block.

Simplot wouldn't give the construction costs, but a permit application with the city values the shell and core at $62 million.

The application says there will be a pedestrian bridge on the fourth and fifth floors of the office building, a 3,600-square-foot greenhouse on top of the annex, and several patios on both buildings.

Vegetated roof areas are planned for the sixth and seventh floors of the office building.

The application notes that the greenhouse is a deferred item, and not under review as part of the shell-and-core plans.

Los Angeles architect Adamson Associates designed both the headquarters and JUMP. Adamson has worked with architects such as Pelli Clarke Pelli, Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners on a number of marquee projects, such as Canary Wharf in London, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

Adamson's website says the Simplot headquarters will have a conference center, employee cafe, test kitchens, open stairways, a customer experience center, wellness center with locker rooms, and space for a future restaurant, retail or coffee shop.

Adamson designed a 500-car parking garage that will be located below both the headquarters and JUMP, but primarily serve the headquarters. A green roof on the garage will be part of a 7.5-acre park that will also have an amphitheater and space for events.

Portland-based Hoffman Construction is the general contractor for both projects.

JUMP stands for Jack's Urban Meeting Place, and it's named for Jack Simplot. The six-story, 70,000-square-foot complex will be a creative center and have spaces for community gatherings. The idea is to let people try new things and connect with others.

JUMP's website calls it “an environment for inspiring human potential.”

The Idaho Statesman said JUMP could be the most complicated construction project in Boise history, with five grids — each skewed in relation to the others.

Here are some of spaces planned for JUMP:

• Movement Studio, for dance classes, fitness classes and performances

• Pioneer Room, with a catering kitchen and seating for 420 people

• Inspiration Studio, a collaboration space for entrepreneurs

• Play Zone, a recreational space with one slide wide enough for eight people and a spiral slide that drops five stories

• Multimedia Studio, which will be equipped with the latest tech for budding filmmakers, musicians and animators

• Maker's Studio, for tinkerers and inventors

• Kitchen Studio, for cooking classes, competitions and community dinners

• Jump Room, a 10,300-square-foot space for speakers, performances and banquets

• Party Zone, an outdoor deck with pergolas and a barbecue

A spokeswoman for JUMP said a wide, winding staircase called Pioneer Stairs will start at the park level and connect to studio entrances on each floor, ending at a fifth floor deck. She described the inside core of the building as a helix that will support the studios.

Kitchen Studio will be the only workshop at ground level, with sliding walls that open onto the park.

Parking for 95 cars would be provided on the third and fourth floors of JUMP, and on part of the ground level.

About 50 antique tractors will be on display throughout the building and grounds.

The foundation initially estimated JUMP would cost $70 million, and the spokeswoman said a newer estimate was not available.

JUMP is expected to open next spring.