The Boise Bench is located in close proximity to Downtown Boise; generally oriented South by Southwest of the thriving downtown corridor. The Boise Bench, or “Bench” for short, is typically bounded by Federal Way to the East, Cole Road to the West, Garden City to the North, and Interstate 84 to the South. The Bench was so named as a result of the geographic rise as you travel away from the current shoreline to the Boise, River. There are actually several geographical “Benches” in the Boise Valley; with “The” Bench being commonly known as this area with immediate proximity to Downtown Boise, Garden City, and the Boise Airport (Directly to the South of The Bench).
It can be difficult to envision today, however, in the very early days of Boise; The Bench was a desert with few inhabitants. It was not until the Ridenbaugh Canal was constructed (in the late 1800s) that the area began to thrive with orchards, farms, dairies, and homesteads.
Fast forward to The Bench today, and you will find a pleasant mixture of residential housing, light commercial, parks and recreation, local restaurants, tree-lined streets, bustling retail, and much more. The Bench finds specific strength (and current revitalization) in its proximity to Downtown Boise, Boise State University, and the Boise Airport; all combined with relative affordability. Many portions of The Bench are reminiscent of Boise’s, North End, but without the price tag. As a consequence of its mature trees, iconic architecture, generally high walkability, and lower price points, many locals have begun referring to The Bench as “The Next North End”. One thing is certain, The Bench is currently undergoing revitalization and infill. It is certainly a community on the rise in Boise, Idaho.