For years we in Boise have been witnessing some rather incredible goings-on in the middle of downtown.  A large block of what had been an open field used as parking for decades was finally being built up.  As the new construction began to take shape, passersby started to take notice: this was not going to be one’s normal edifice.  The contours of the new building gradually evolved and it appeared it was going to resemble nothing less than a collection of spatial recognition objects from a geometry class. What’s going on here?

The conglomerate of shapes was given a name:  JUMP, or Jack’s Urban Meeting Place.  Jack was Jack Simplot, a legend in Boise and in Idaho.  As a young man he had an idea about potatoes and turned it (and them) into billions.  He and his wife, Esther, have been generous with their good fortune and the community has benefited greatly. In 2008, J.R. died at the age of 99 and one of his last boons to the city turned out to be JUMP, or Jack’s Urban Meeting Place.


Jump is finally beginning to show its stuff, although not quite ready for a full-fledged launch.  It calls itself an “interactive creative center and community gathering place designed to spark new interests and uncover talents people may not even know they have.”  

I think it will end up being that and much more once it really starts to hum.

As you can see here, I was fortunate enough to tag along on a tour recently and I must admit I was excited at the prospect of finally seeing what was going on inside.  It turns out that plenty is going on, especially in terms of light and design.  When it is geared up and running who knows what will start percolating?  For now, I was given the freedom to roam and take pictures, and I had a lot of fun doing it.


Doors to enter and steps to climb

Plenty of seating available too.


Simplot’s World HQ is Going Up Across the Plaza




The kitchen is going to be a busy place – it’s in the lobby!

JUMP2_061There’s still lots of work to be done but meanwhile you might consider scheduling a tour – you just might get an idea or two.  The website:  Jack’s Urban Meeting Place