This summer, a new interchange will plow off the freeway and down onto Ten Mile Road in Meridian, Idaho – one of the fastest-growing cities in the greater Boise metropolitan area.

The offramp, scheduled to be completed in late 2011, will lead to hundreds of acres of empty fields – not the usual sight for a Treasure Valley interchange.

But with a source of steady traffic flowing through the area, which previously sat in the middle of the longest stretch of Interstate 84 in the Treasure Valley without an interchange, the land will be ripe for new development.
With that in mind, the city of Meridian, along with 500 affected individuals, came up with a 300-page plan for the area in June 2007. It sets guidelines for land use and transportation.

One broad goal is to bring in mixed-use buildings – buildings that will host shoppers, diners and businesspeople on the bottom floors and residents on the upper floors. The core area will be anchored by a transit center in the north and a commercial district in the south; it’s intended to host the Treasure Valley’s “most fashionable” retail center, according to the plan.
The newly developed Ten Mile area will aim for urban and pedestrian appeal, with buildings instead of parking lots framing the sidewalks and glassy storefronts and design details.

The plan recommends a building height limit of four stories in most areas, except those for high-density employment and a lifestyle center, where five to six stories will be allowed. It also includes an emphasis on parks and open space.
For now, no one has submitted a development proposal, though Mayor Tammy de Weerd said the city has had discussions with potential developers.

“As the economy and the interchange start to pick up, so will the development,” she said. “…Investment is attracted to a well-planned and well-defined area.”

That’s been the theory behind growth in what Meridian calls its Health Sciences and Technology Corridor along Eagle Road, which has been the site for some big building projects lately. Anchoring the corridor are institutions like Idaho State University, a St. Luke’s campus, Blue Cross, Urology Institute, Complex Care Hospital and Bodybuilding.com.
Right now construction is ongoing in the corridor at the Silverstone Corporate Plaza, a 124,000-square-foot office condominium developed by The Sundance Company and built by Jordan-Wilcomb Construction, both of Boise. Work began in October and is slated to be completed in August. The 124,000-square-foot Silverstone Corporate Plaza at 3421 E. Overland Road in Meridian, is an upscale office-condo building, in the Sundance-developed Silverstone Business Campus in the southeast quadrant of Overland and Eagle roads.

Also in the corridor, construction continues at Meridian’s Joint School District No. 2 site, where Idaho State University is building a new facility to house its health sciences program.

Two four-story, 80,000-square-foot medical office buildings were completed this winter at Portico, a 24-acre development nearby. It also includes a 134,000-square-foot office tower slated to be finished in November. Engineered Structures Inc., of Boise, is the general contractor for Portico and plans to move in to the new office building when it’s completed.
Work on a four-diamond hotel project in the Portico development is expected to start in the fall, though a brand has not been announced.

The Health Sciences and Technology Corridor came about naturally, as a result of private development decisions.
“It grew because it had those foundational pieces that people want to be near,” said Phil Stiffler, economic excellence coordinator for Meridian.

The city hopes to capitalize on the synergy created by businesses in similar fields operating in a defined geographic area. Stiffler said potential employees know there are multiple career opportunities nearby, and incoming businesses know there will be a trained work force and a solid neighborhood.

© 2009 Idaho Business Review

About The Sundance Company
The Sundance Company has become a development powerhouse with more than 30 years of successful history in Idaho’s Treasure Valley and the Boise metropolitan area. The Sundance Company is one of the few local companies that self-manages and maintains its own properties—enjoying higher occupancy levels and superior quality control for its projects.

Savvy tenants and buyers look to The Sundance Company for development; office, warehouse, and retail leasing; property management; build-to-suit/construction; and land and building sales. With more than 1.5 million square feet of prime office and industrial space in the greater Treasure Valley, The Sundance Company has the size and diversity to avoid the need for a “one-size-fits-all” approach—thereby assuring customized solutions that are genuinely tailored to each client’s needs.

Every project by The Sundance Company is conceived and executed with integrity, innovation, accountability, and dedication by a team of seasoned experts who always remains mindful not only of tangible aspects of a property transaction but also the intangible. The in-house management team values its personal connections and the relationship of trust it has created with its tenants and property owners, which include national and regional companies, some of whom have been in Sundance buildings for more than 15 years.

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