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Meet the Boomtown of Idaho: Meridian

This fast growing city is drawing a slew of new developments from shopping centers and live/work housing to multipurpose planned communities.

By Laura Hill on September 25, 2021

aerial view of shopping center
CenterCal Properties

With its unmatched natural beauty, booming jobs market and comfortable cost of living, this city’s secret was bound to get out one day – and, as its vibrant development demonstrates, it certainly has.

Dubbed by WalletHub as the Third-Fastest Growing City in the U.S., Meridian, ID has racked up a list of accolades.

Plenty of Accolades for Meridian

• One of the Top Cities for Doing Business (Inc. magazine)
• Among the Best Places to Retire (Forbes)
• One of the Top 100 Places to Live (Money)
• America’s Best Cities for Young People (Newsweek)

“We still have relatively low-cost energy, insurance costs are low, we’re a relatively safe area, and we have very few natural disasters,” says Sean Evans, CEO of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce. “Plus, it’s an area that has the quality of life many people are looking for, and it’s in a metro area that has all the offerings, but you can also get lost in the mountains and enjoy alpine lakes and wildlife.”

With Meridian’s phenomenal population growth has come demand for housing, retail, business, hospitality, services and entertainment, and area developers are busy meeting that demand, from walkable residential subdivisions to convenient live/work housing to limitless shopping options, parks, restaurants and office space – even a quiet place to read a good book.

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Orchard Park

Plenty of Projects in the Works

Orchard Park, an 80-acre planned community, will offer a slew of amenities in a residential-office-retail development, including the new Meridian Orchard Park Library. The light-filled, 15,000-square-foot facility will stress accessibility for people of differing abilities and include children’s play and reading areas, lounges and a sensory space. It is expected to open in 2022.

Under construction in southeast Meridian, Lavender Heights will offer 187 single-family homesites and 47 apartment homes on 55 acres on Lake Hazel Road.

Pine 43, a mixed-use development east of South Locust Grove Road between Fairview Avenue and Pine Avenue, will include residential apartments, townhouses, work/live units and smaller lots, says developer Dennis M. Baker.

What’s in a Name?

Pine 43 takes its name from Idaho’s status as the 43rd state in the union and location on the 43rd parallel.

The development, which will also contain office space and retail, is being built in phases, with 68 lots in the first phase completed, 53 lots in the second phase and 112 lots in the third phase. Building has begun on the second phase, and Baker expects the third phase to begin in September 2021.

“Now that people can see buildings going up, we’re generating a lot of interest,” he says. “Our Realtors are busy and abuzz with inquiries.”

Also new and different is King & Queen Boutique, which opened in 2021, at 1580 N. Stonehenge Way. Owner Felisa Mallea Diaz stocks men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories.

Something New in Store at The Village at Meridian

Opened in 2013, The Village at Meridian has become a community hub as well as an upscale retail, restaurant, office and entertainment destination.

A CenterCal Properties LLC project, the center boasts distinctive architecture, a central terrace with an eye-catching fountain, kids’ play areas and plenty of space for its frequent live music, festivals, events – ready to try a Princess Character Brunch? – art exhibits and a street market.

It is also home to Village Cinema 15, which offers reserved stadium seating and two 60-foot giant screens with Dolby Atmos immersive sound.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, The Village flourished, adding new stores and businesses. In 2021 alone, they added R&R Barbecue, Duck Donuts, Market Optical, 5.11 Tactical, Sierra, Plant Therapy, Inspire Financial, UrbanLink, Journeys and NEST. Lounge at Willamette Valley Bank is scheduled to open soon.

“Our community loves The Village, and we make sure we meet the community’s needs,” says Hugh Crawford, CenterCal Properties LLC’s general manager. “We like to manage our experience so that the minute a customer pulls in, it’s clean, it’s entertaining and it’s safe. We listen and learn and lease to that, and we deliver all those touch points.”

Crawford is keeping the details mum for the moment, but says Meridian can expect “something new and different” when the next phase of The Village is announced in fourth-quarter 2021.

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