Launch Slideshow

Meridian, Idaho

Once bucolic dairy land, Meridian has become Idaho’s third-largest city and is a thriving business hub. The most recent trend in its transformation is a corridor approach to development.

Meridian, Idaho

Once bucolic dairy land, Meridian has become Idaho’s third-largest city and is a thriving business hub. The most recent trend in its transformation is a corridor approach to development.

  • http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpF4ED%2Etmp_tcm20-183275.jpg

    600

    City Hall
    Architect: LCA Architects, Boise. Completion: 2008. Brief: 100,000-s.f. municipal building should receive LEED Silver certification.

  • http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpF4EE%2Etmp_tcm20-183282.jpg

    600

    Complex Care Hospital of Idaho
    Architect: The Estopinal Group, Jeffersonville, Ind. Completion: 2008. Brief: 60,000-s.f. acute-care hospital anchors the health, science, and technology corridor.

  • http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpF4F0%2Etmp_tcm20-183296.jpg

    600

    Main 5
    Architect: CSHQA, Boise. Completion: TBD. Brief: Mixed-use residential project will reuse downtown’s Double D Seed & Feed building; seeking LEED certification.

  • http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpF4F1%2Etmp_tcm20-183303.jpg

    600

    VengaWorks Venture Centers
    Architect: Erstad Architects, Boise. Completion: 2008. Brief: 15,700-s.f. building contains flexible, furnished workspaces along with retail and conference space; seeking LEED Gold certification.

Once bucolic dairy land, Meridian has become Idaho’s third-largest city and is a thriving business hub. The most recent trend in its transformation is a corridor approach to development.

“The concept formed in the last couple years through the mayor’s vision and existing anchor businesses,” explains Josh Grant, a member of the city’s Economic Excellence Team. Developer buy-in and collaboration also were critical in moving the concept forward. The 1,800-acre health, science, and technology corridor—which includes a new 60,000-square-foot acute-care hospital (see the slideshow) and Idaho State University’s Meridian campus—is the first. “The city has a vision that includes several other corridors currently being researched to identify viable industry clusters,” Grant says.

Another key to re-envisioning Meridian is reviving the city’s core. “As development has occurred, it has taken place outside of downtown,” says Craig Slocum, principal architect with CSHQA in Boise and chairman of the Meridian Development Corp. (MDC). “One of the challenges that Meridian faces is maintaining—or re-creating—its downtown.”

To that end, a new City Hall (see the slideshow) was built to consolidate many of the city’s services, draw people back to the area, and spark redevelopment. Already, new projects are springing up in its wake. Says Slocum: “The MDC and the city are committed to creating a vibrant, walkable downtown.”

POPULATION/EMPLOYMENT

More than 73,000 people reside in Meridian, up 13.1% from 2007; February 2009 unemployment was 7%.

OFFICE MARKET

Average asking rate, 1Q 2009: $17/s.f., full-service gross, on 9% vacancy.

RESIDENTIAL MARKET

February 2009 median home sale price in Ada County: $180,900.

MARKET STRENGTHS

  • Location at center of Treasure Valley
  • Exceptional parks and recreational amenities
  • Cheaper than nearby Boise

MARKET CONCERNS

  • Infrastructure, particularly roads
  • Sprawling exurbs
  • Higher demand for services
  • FORECAST

    “The [city’s] explosive growth, the demographics of our population, and our location in the center of the Treasure Valley are the key items that make Meridian interesting, provide us our strength, and also create our challenges,” comments CSHQA principal Craig Slocum.