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P&Z Recommends Alameda Plaza Split To Council

Pocatello took one step closer to redeveloping Alameda Plaza at the corner of Alameda and Yellowstone Avenues on Wednesday night.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended to the City Council that it split Alameda Plaza into five different plats, in the hopes that it will lure developers to the prime real estate.

The giant empty building sits in the center of town, and yet, the ceilings are falling apart, there’s trash clinging to a chain link fence and there was a trash and tumbleweed tornado whipping through one of the building’s corridor Wednesday afternoon.

But there is one thing about the plaza that isn’t unslightly: Little girls dancing. Kara Williams and her husband Tyler run Rhythm ‘n Sole dance studio. It’s the only business in the plaza.

“We started out in a single car garage, we’ve been here for two years and we’ve doubled in size since we’ve been here,” Williams said.

Williams has been waiting for something to happen, but that will mean her business have to find a new location.

“It’s not in the best shape,” she said, laughing.

Williams said she is in the middle of a delicate dance. She’d like to get out of her lease, but said the building’s owner, the Howard Hughes Corporation, won’t let her. If the corporation starts to restructure the building, Williams gets kicked out. Still, Williams wants to see the space developed.

The Howard Hughes Corporation could not be reached for comment.

The architects want to split the plaza into two larger lots, two smaller lots, and the fifth plat will be the Wells Fargo building. Pocatello Planning Division Manager Matthew Lewis said the Howard Hughes Corporation asked for the division. Lewis is working hard to make it happen.

“I mean it’s huge. That’s probably one of the busiest intersections in the city. It’s very visible, obviously to the public, and to get that redeveloped would be really something that we’ve wanted to do in our department,” Lewis said.

Lewis said he doesn’t know of any current developers who want to come in to the building, but is optimistic that some interested businesses will crop up within the year.

The commission’s recommendation will head to the city council for the final vote.

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