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Developer opts out of Meridian Community Center project, but apartment & office project underway

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A proposal to bring a new community center to Downtown Meridian will not move ahead as originally planned, and the city’s urban renewal agency and the City of Meridian hope to regroup soon.

BoiseDev first told you about the Civic Block project in Downtown Meridian last year. The proposal, with Boise-based Galena Opportunity Fund, would have built a community center, auditorium, commercial space and a possible charter school.

But now, the partnership between the Meridian Development Corporation, the city and Galena will not move forward. It doesn’t impact Galena’s separate project under construction next door to add new apartments and office space.

Community center deal expired

Meridian Community Center
Rendering of a previously proposed new community center in Downtown Meridian. Via Galena Opportunity Fund

The projects are part of several underway in Downtown Meridian that will reshape the area in years to come. Initially, Galena’s Union 93 project and the community center project were linked. But, a previous agreement between the urban renewal agency, the City of Meridian and Galena expired, according to MDC.

“We worked closely with Galena over the last year with hopes of bringing our unique vision for downtown Meridian to life,” City of Meridian Community Development Director Cameron Arial said. “While Galena has chosen not to pursue an extension to the project agreement we look forward to working with them in their planning and development efforts of Union 93.”

The community center as originally envisioned would build a $13 million multi-use public facility on a 1.24-acre block that includes the aging current Meridian Community Center, as well as Centennial Park and a parking lot. The City of Meridian planned to contribute up to $3.85 million, and the developer would get the rest of its investment back over time via tax increment financing.

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Arial said the city and redevelopment agency would discuss next steps for the Civic Block project.

“The City of Meridian and Meridian Development Corporation are committed to transforming the Civic Block into an iconic section of our downtown,” Meridian Development Corporation Administrator Ashley Squyres said. “We have full confidence we will be able to find the right partner for this project.”

Union 93 moves ahead

Meridian Station
Aerial rendering of the first phase of the Meridian Station project. Via NeuDesign Architecture

Initial construction on the Union 93, formerly known as Meridian Station, project started recently. Originally the proposal called for buildings, but Galena will soon submit a permit to construct three total buildings. Two multi-family buildings and one office building.

The buildings will be located at the corner of 3rd St. and Broadway Ave. in Meridian. The mostly-abandoned block used to house Frontier Tire and other businesses and sits near Meridian City Hall and the old Zamzows mill.

The first building to go up will include 180 apartment units. Boise-based Guerdon, will build the apartment units at a local factory, then crews will assemble them and put the finishing touches on-site.

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Galena’s Dan Fullmer said they hope to have an irrigation canal on site buried soon, with construction on the parking podium for the building starting in May.

The two 100-foot-tall buildings would include 385 apartments, about 28,000 square feet of retail space and two parking garages.

There is not a definitive timeline on the entire project. But Fullmer says once they start the concrete, the bigger 180 units will take about 14 months to complete. Following Galena will construct the 150 multi-family unit then the office building.

Union 93 and a future community center are planned for Downtown Meridian. BoiseDev graphic

Correction: an earlier version of this article did not mention that the City of Meridian was an equal partner with MDC and Galena in the original plan for the community center.

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Ketchum, McCall and general news. Contact her at [email protected].

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