The McLeod Family Story
A Rich History
Avimor has a rich history of land stewardship. For 100 years, the McLeod family has lived on and cared for the 1000s of acres that comprise Avimor. Avimor was part of a larger ranch known as the Spring Valley Ranch. It traces its roots to 1890 when a small ranching community known as “Howell” began to thrive in the area. It was an 80 acre ranching settlement that boasted a general store, blacksmith shop, and post office. In 1916, Colin McLeod Sr., a Scottish immigrant, arrived in Howell and purchased what became known as the Spring Valley Ranch.
Colin McLeod Sr., raised his family on the ranch and began to purchase surrounding parcels, ultimately growing the foothills ranch to about 37,000 acres. The ranch stayed in the hands of the McLeod family, passing from Colin McLeod Sr., to Colin “Smokey” McLeod Jr., and then on to Colin “Sandy” McLeod III.
Conservation and land stewardship have always been a priority of the McLeod Family. In 1952 Colin “Smokey” McLeod was named Ada County’s “Grass- man of the Year” in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in developing Idaho grassland. He was honored for protecting grasslands through a balanced operation of under-grazing and developing springs, eliminating erosion, and encouraging native plants with re-seeding. The newspaper at the time quoted the award committee as saying, “Mr. McLeod makes use of the latest scientific information, is very cooperative with agencies in the way of trying out new recommendations and new ideas.”
The McLeod family was implementing sustainable practices many decades before it became popular to do so. And it is their heritage of land stewardship that is the basis for The Avimor Master Plan. In early 2000, Sandy McLeod and his family sought to develop a “place” where the land was preserved for future generations and folks could live side-by-side with nature. The McLeod’s desired a small-town feel, a community where kids could freely enjoy the outdoors and residents could get to know their neighbors.
The McLeod family considered many alternatives for development. They first considered selling individual parcels, resulting in a patchwork quilt of development throughout the foothills. They decided, however, that a master plan concept with an emphasis on conservation and small town values would be the best way to meet their vision for the land.
Avimor is a name derived from a small Scottish town known as “Aviemore” in the highland areas of Scotland. Its rolling hills and direct access to recreation and open space are very similar to the area in Idaho surrounding the Avimor Planned Community.
Development and Growth
As the McLeod’s and planners began planning, one of their primary goals was to find a way to alleviate the natural conflict between private development and conservation of the scenic foothills. They decided that cluster development was the way to go. Cluster building (also known as “Conservation Design”) requires Planners to consider environmental features and natural areas while designing any development. It is a way to avoid the simple “checkerboard” development and instead integrate trails, natural open space, creek beds, and parks into the design. Scenic resources and native habitat are preserved while still allowing public access and recreational uses.
Avimor is a plan that is being built to withstand the test of time. Unlike some subdivisions where in a year or two the builder moves on to other projects, the Avimor team will remain for many years. We recognize that what we build today will be the standard by which we are judged for many years to come. “There’s no running away. We’ll be here, standing behind our product for a very long time,” according to General Manager, Dan Richter.
We recognize, too, that current residents become future move-up buyers. They also convince family and friends to become residents of our community. “Our best interest is their best interest. We’re in this together”, according to Richter. Avimor has set the standard for “inclusive” conservation based communities. Like the foothills it’s built on, Avimor is living and growing. The plan is well designed with conservation at the forefront. The lifestyle is affordable, and it is a foothills lifestyle open to all.
Location, location, location
Drive just 8 short minutes north of State Street on Highway 55, and you’ll find Avimor, the most innovative and ambitious Master Planned Community in the Boise metropolitan area. It’s the location and the surrounding foothills that makes Avimor so special. Surrounded by close to 70% open space and miles of foothills trails, Avimor residents live very close to nature. It’s right outside their front door. Without any effort at all, residents can be on Avimor’s 100 miles of trails, enjoying the wildlife and a healthy lifestyle. Hiking, biking, or even horseback riding are great ways to explore the 25 square miles of open space that comprise the Avimor Planned Community. The long term development plan gives Avimor that “small town” feel. The 23,000 acre project is made up of multiple Villages and Hamlets situated around charming Village Centers that will have restaurants, retail, office and educational spaces. Each home is also within walking distance of neighborhood parks and recreation centers.
What to Expect Now and in the Future
Currently the 12,000 sf Community Center is the heart of the community. It includes meeting rooms, Ada County Library Annex, large fitness center and indoor swimming pool. Other amenities include 7 parks, including 2 large playgrounds, a mountain bike pump park to practice riding skills, stocked fishing pond, tennis, basketball, soccer, and baseball diamond. The 6 acre Foothills Heritage Park also includes an amphitheater for outdoor events and community picnics. The Village Center is also expanding with new commercial establishments. Plans are underway for the Spring Valley Brewing Company, a 6000 sf restaurant and microbrewery. Guests will enjoy craft beers along with flatbread creations and casual fare while sitting on the patio near Spring Valley Creek. Additionally, the construction of a Mobil Gas Station and “On the Fly” over-sized Convenience Store has begun. Completion should occur in Early Spring 2018.