Building a 'Village' in Meridian

New shopping and entertainment complex opens formally Oct. 18.

cmsewell@idahostatesman.comOctober 10, 2013 

  • HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL FIND AT THE VILLAGE AT MERIDIAN - NOW AND IN THE FUTURE

    PARKS AND ENTERTAINMENT

    Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park

    The 60-acre park - Meridian's newest city park — includes an amphitheater, two ponds, arboretum, picnic shelters, pathways and more.

    Fountain Square

    At the heart of The Village at Meridian, the one-acre landscaped plaza features a large fountain with multi-directional 30-foot sprays choreographed to lights and music, fire pits, seating and grassy areas.

    Big Al's

    A 65,000-square-foot entertainment center with bowling, arcade, 14'x55' jumbotron television, golf simulator, pool tables, darts, shuffleboard and a sports-book type sports bar. This month a newly completed patio with outdoor dining, firepits and bocce ball court opens.

    Village Cinema

    Fifteen screens including four large-format screens, all with reserved seating.

    A full-service restaurant offers seat-side service including beer and wine in designated areas.

    COMPARISON

    Size

    The Village at Meridian: 1.02 million square feet

    Boise Towne Square: 1. 2 million square feet

    Downtown Boise: Multiple city blocks from State Street to the Boise River, Broadway Avenue to 16th Street

    Parking spaces

    • The Village at Meridian: 4,100

    • Boise Towne Square: 5,403

    • Downtown Boise: 10,514 (2,561 in public parking garages; 1,300 on-street parking meters; 1,700 other on-street parking; 4,953 in privately managed parking lots)

    Retailers

    • The Village at Meridian: 17 to date

    • Boise Towne Square: 130-plus

    • Downtown Boise: 100-plus

    Restaurants/eateries/bars

    • The Village at Meridian: 12 to date

    • Boise Towne Square: 22

    • Downtown Boise: 120

    Department stores

    • The Village at Meridian: Gordmans, Marshalls

    • Boise Towne Square: Dillards, J.C. Penney, Kohl's, Macy's and Sears

    • Downtown Boise: None

    GRAND OPENING FESTIVITIES

    Friday, Oct. 18

    6 a.m. Keke Luv

    10 a.m. Ribbon-cutting

    11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kid zone activities

    6:30 to 9 p.m. Party Crashers concert

    Saturday, Oct. 19

    10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kid zone activities

    Noon to 4 p.m. Super hero and princess meet and greet

    2 to 5 p.m. Pilot Error concert

    3 to 5 p.m. Kid zone cookie decorating

    6:30 to 9 p.m. Imagine concert

    Sunday, Oct. 20

    Noon to 4 p.m. Kid zone activities

    4 to 6 p.m. Soul Patch concert

    DIRECTORY

    RETAIL

    Open now:

    Big Al's

    Gap Outlet

    Gordmans

    Marshalls

    Nike

    PetCo

    Sleep Country USA

    Toys R Us/Babies R US

    Opening this month:

    GoLite

    LOFT

    Oconik

    ProImage

    Soma Intimates

    White House Black Market

    Coming soon:

    Charming Charlie (2013)

    Chico's (2014)

    Francesca's (2014)

    Republic of Couture (2013)

    RESTAURANTS

    Now:

    Chipotle

    Which Wich

    Noodles & Co.

    Chick-fil-A

    Opening October 18:

    Kona Grill

    Yard House

    Coming soon:

    Calle 75 Tacos

    RiceWorks

    Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar (Nov. 1)

    Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill (early 2014)

    The Counter (early 2014)

    LeCreme Frozen Yogurt (2013)

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Big Al's

    Village Cinema

    FITNESS

    Axiom Fitness (Early 2014)

    SERVICES

    Open now:

    The Joint Chiropractic

    Meridian Smile

    My Kid's Dentist

    Coming soon:

    SB Salon (2013)

The Village at Meridian is strategically located near the geographic, population and employment centers of the Treasure Valley and built at the state's busiest intersection.

"The location was the driving factor," said project manager Hugh Crawford. "Meridian has become the epicenter of life in the Treasure Valley."

While Boise Towne Square, also clocking in at about 1 million square feet, continues its reign as the Valley's retail mecca with more than 130 shops, The Village goes for a more multitasking focus with a 15-plex theater, 65,000-square-foot bowling and entertainment center, 35,000-square-foot fitness center with an indoor pool and, at the heart of The Village, an outdoor plaza with Bellagio-style fountain. The site of a former turf farm, The Village is adjacent to Meridian's new signature, $25 million, 60-acre regional park.

"This is not a traditional mall with big anchor stores," Crawford said. The center has several "mini-anchors," like entertainment and fashion. "It is anchored by the collection," he said.

The center offers indoor and outdoor experiences.

"The outdoor experience is something you will not see at a traditional mall - intimate European street settings with lush landscaping, twinkling lights, music throughout, soft seating areas, a fountain show," he said.

The Village, 70 percent leased with additional lease agreements awaiting signatures, is drawing national restaurants and retailers making their first forays into Idaho. Those include Kona Grill, Yard House, Toby Keith's I Love This Grill, Soma Intimates, Charming Charlie and Republic of Couture.

In addition to Boise Towne Square, The Village also will be in league with Downtown Boise, which maintains its position as the Valley's art, cultural, dining and nightlife center.

But Downtown Boise is grappling with paid parking and access issues, something The Village and Boise Towne Square do not face.

The Village is also banking on its strategic location to give it an extra boost. Using Treasure Valley data, the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho calculated two imaginary points that represent the geographic centers of population and employment. Both are in central Meridian - the Valley's geographic population center lies at Pine Avenue and Linder Road and its geographic employment center lies at Franklin and Cloverdale roads. Also in the area, according to the Idaho Transportation Department, is the state's busiest intersection - Eagle Road and Fairview Avenue.

Strategic location and easier access are what convinced outdoor gear retailer GoLite to shutter its Downtown Boise store this month and relocate to The Village at Meridian.

"We want to better reach all of the Treasure Valley," said store manager Mindy Rupley.

Other stores with an existing Valley presence, including Chico's and White House Black Market, will open a second location at The Village.

BY THE NUMBERS

Project cost: $300 million

80 acres

4,100 parking spaces

1,020,000 square feet of entertainment, retail and commercial space

60,000 plants

67 animated vertical jets on the fountain with 30-foot spray

201 computer-controlled LED lights on the fountain

200 ornate lampposts

400 to 600 contractors employed every day for more than a year during construction

1,800 new jobs created to date

1,000 additional new jobs to be created by early 2014

60 acres at adjacent $25 million Julius M. Kleiner Park

Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell

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