June Site Visit
The final site visit was conducted in early June by Olga Pogoda of KRNLS and Courtney Zaugg of Plaka and Associates, hosted by Region IV Development Association (RIVDA). During the visit, the research team presented their final findings to the RIVDA board of directors along with recommendations for next steps. The board of directors seemed pleased with the information received and agreed to proceed with further conversations with the city of Twin Falls.
The meeting with the city included Travis Rothweiler, City Manager and Rudy Ashenbrener, Title Officer. The discussion revolved around building acquisition, the development of a new Urban Redevelopment Area (URA), and the funding opportunities available when partnering with the URA.
In order to acquire a location and proceed with the development of the Food Innovation Center, there are currently three identified paths:
Receive additional funding from corporate partners in order to fill the construction gap, secure a downtown building, and proceed with construction.
The URA will engage in conversation with the land owner of the identified sites, Emilee Golay, to inquire about a land swap for one of the comparable URA properties allowing for cheaper land acquisition for the MVFIC.
The current URA closes in December 2022. The team could wait until the opening of a new URA in early 2023 and proceed with land acquisition and construction with cost savings from the URA and the city.
Without continuous traction and excitement about the project, these plans are subject to failure.
The next recommendation is to develop programming to start engaging local startups and entrepreneurs. Once there a small group is assembled, the next move is to partner with local companies such as Chobani, Glanbia, or even Gemstone Climbing for meeting space, begin programming in partnership with Trailhead, and start participating in national pitch competitions and hackathons. All of these activities will grow the credibility and notoriety of the Magic Valley Food Innovation Center on a national scale creating buzz and PR throughout the time of land acquisition and construction.
For the time being, all funding, partnership development and MOUs should be conducted through RIVDA.
Below you will find an image of all URA owned properties in Twin Falls, ID.