Nestled between the Boise River and the foothills, Barber Valley pools a collection of communities engrained in the nature that surrounds them. From where Parkcenter Boulevard merges with Warm Springs all the way to the dam at Lucky Peak, the north side of the Boise River offers vibrant neighborhoods, rich history, endless recreation and a bright future. I always say that if I were ever to leave my mid-century home in the East End, I would move to the Barber Valley, where my dreams of walk-in closets, modern kitchens, a multi-car garage and access to the outdoors can be fulfilled.
The Barber Valley was first home to large herds of migrating deer and elk, as well as the native tribes of the region. Its first modern developments included Barberton, a mill town constructed at the turn of the century by the Barber Lumber Company. The lumber industry of the area persisted until the 1960s, when Harris Brothers Lumber Co. sold to Boise Cascade. Dallas Harris began acquiring land, raising Hereford cattle and training prized Appaloosa horses. His legacy as a conservation-minded real estate estate developer has truly shaped the area into what it is today.
The Barber Valley includes a range of newly constructed neighborhoods. Harris Ranch, for instance, boasts 1,100 single-family and multi-family residences. The homes reflect the Harris Family’s focus on modern urbanism, with densely built, modern designs that offer open concepts and low-maintenance lots. Hello walk-in closets and chefs’ kitchens! The sidewalks and pathways promote walking and biking, while the community pools, shared open space, riverwalks and parks encourage residents to be outdoors as much as possible. Resident fees even go toward wildlife mitigation, so that the migratory paths and nesting sites remain preserved for future generations. Not to mention, a few head of Dallas Harris’ prized cattle remain on the land, creating a sense of ranch-life with a better work-life balance.
For those looking to build, Timber Square at Harris Ranch remains available for custom builds by Boise Hunter Homes. You can also be represented by a Realtor when buying new construction. I’ll have detailed that process in another blog.
The Barber Valley’s location between the foothills and the Boise River make it a recreator’s paradise. The Boise River Greenbelt cuts right through for cyclists and walkers, while Lucky Peak State Park offers open space for boating, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and more. Ridges to River trails include the Homestead out-and-back and the Highland Valley – Cobb loop. For even more adventure, residents can easily access Highway 21 to Idaho City, Stanley and the backcountry beyond.
For commuters, it’s accessible via bike and a short drive to downtown and Boise State University. There are excellent amenities within this community, as well. We love post-bike pizza at Lucky 13, Deja Vu ice cream at The STIL and snow cones at Ranch Market. Plus, The Switchback food truck park brings new eats into the neighborhood daily. We can’t wait for even more businesses to join Boise Dance Alliance at Barber Station in the future. Pivot by Kristen Armstrong, Hollywood Market Yoga, Habitat Vet and an Albertsons are all slated to arrive on the scene.
The future of Barber Valley pledges to be as rich as its history. While commercial space has been slow to grow in this area, the residential communities have blossomed. I truly believe in the phrase, “If you build it, they will come.” I think when the world begins to return to normal, development in the Barber Valley will resume. In addition to the new businesses in Barber Station, there are plans for a new elementary school and the 20-acre Alta Harris Park.
The area offers so much for growing families and those looking to downsize. The high density lifestyle offers easy access to downtown, Boise State University and so much more. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance home, a strong sense of community and everything you need a bike ride away, this is for you.