Gardner Co. has stamped itself as the leading office developer in Downtown Boise after building Eighth & Main, buying the U.S. Bank building and now developing Pioneer Crossing.
But Gardner’s other project under construction returns the company from Downtown to Meridian, where it made an early mark in the Treasure Valley with The Portico, the office-and-retail complex on Eagle Road just north of St. Luke’s Meridian.
Gardner is partnering with Brighton Corp. to build TM Crossing, a business park, on 71 acres immediately northeast of the I-84 interchange at 10 Mile Road. The park will have two office buildings with more than 200,000 square feet.
Paylocity, a Chicago payroll and human resources company, will share a five-story, 127,000-square-foot building with Brighton, a Meridian home and commercial builder. AmeriBen, a Meridian human resources and benefits administration company, will occupy a two-story, 76,000-square-foot building.
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Gardner Executive Vice President David Wali says building office space near Meridian’s newest I-84 interchange was an obvious choice.
“Right now, our primary transportation corridor is strictly I-84,” Wali says. “Virtually every other interchange is occupied. Ten Mile was the natural next place.”
Companies have gobbled up office inventory in Meridian for at least the past six years, said Al Marino, partner and office specialist at Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate. Marino was part of the team that leased almost all of the 157,000 square feet of office space at The Village at Meridian.
SilverStone Business Park (943,000 square feet) and El Dorado Business Campus (270,000) were both quickly absorbed in recent years, as were smaller office buildings, Marino says.
While some companies enjoy the prestige and proximity to entertainment and restaurants that comes with leasing space in Downtown Boise, others offer shorter commutes for employees who live outside of Boise by leasing in Meridian, he says.
But the biggest difference in location is parking. Meridian offices have ample surface spaces that come for free with office leases.
Companies leasing in Downtown Boise pay about $4 more per square foot of office space per month than they would pay in Meridian, and much of that difference reflects the cost of parking, he says.
“Especially for companies like Paylocity and AmeriBen that have higher-density office layouts than other tenants, they skew toward a suburban setting,” Marino said. “It comes back to the parking cost.”
Marino expects restaurants and other service providers to spring up around the 10 Mile Road interchange as Gardner fills up its development and when a California developer who owns land south of I-84 decides to build.
“They’ve been patient waiting for market opportunities to come to them rather than being aggressive and moving dirt, especially at 10 Mile,” he said.
Zach Kyle: 208-377-6464, @ZachKyleNews. This story appears in the April 19-May, 16, 2017, edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine as part of a special section on commercial real estate.