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More than 100 apartments are coming to downtown Meridian. Goodbye, old city hall

Rendering showing a development by Novembrewhisky Properties and Pacific Companies for downtown Meridian that takes in the space occupied by old city hall and two former bank buildings. The Meridian City Council on Tuesday chose the project over one submitted by DeChase Miksis.
Rendering showing a development by Novembrewhisky Properties and Pacific Companies for downtown Meridian that takes in the space occupied by old city hall and two former bank buildings. The Meridian City Council on Tuesday chose the project over one submitted by DeChase Miksis.

Two four-story buildings with apartments and commercial spaces will take shape in downtown Meridian.

The Meridian City Council has chosen a $20 million proposal from Meridian’s Novembrewhisky Properties, in partnership with The Pacific Cos., an Eagle multifamily-housing and charter-school business, to redevelop the old City Hall property at 33 E. Idaho Ave. The old City Hall will be torn down.

“After hearing both of these proposals, I can’t be more excited about the future of downtown Meridian,” said Councilman Treg Bernt, who offered the motion at a Tuesday, Aug. 28, meeting to pick the Novembrewhisky (pronounced november-whisky) proposal. “This will be a catalyst for future growth.”

Josh Evarts, the managing member of Novembrewhisky, said he’s excited to get the contract and to develop the first project of its kind in downtown Meridian. He predicted it will lead to downtown’s revitalization.

Evarts, who lives a few blocks from the development site, said he has watched as Eagle Road, Chinden Boulevard and Ten Mile Road have grown with development. “Our downtown has lagged behind,” he said. “This will change that.”

One building would replace the old City Hall, while the other would replace two structures in the same block, at 703 and 713 N. Main St. The company already had a development agreement with the Meridian Development Corp., which owned the latter buildings.

The buildings will have space for stores and restaurants on the ground floor and 103 apartments on the top three floors. Apartment rents are projected to be between $1,000 and $1,160 per month.

The council picked the Novembrewhisky plan over one submitted by deChase Miksis, an Oregon developer with a Boise office, that called for up to six stories with residential, commercial and office space, along with a parking garage.

The biggest difference between the two proposals was money.

Novembrewhisky offered the city $565,000 for the old City Hall property, located a block north of the current city headquarters.

The plan from deChase Miksis required $3.3 million from the city and free title to the property. The company said it would also seek $12 million from the Meridian Development Corp., the city’s urban-renewal agency, to help finance the private-public garage.

But Mayor Tammy de Weerd praised the deChase Miksis plan and told developer Dean Papè that she hopes his company considers future projects in Meridian.

Nathan Mueller, a member of the development corporation board, agreed. “Your proposal was exceptional,” Mueller said. “We like you guys. We want to work with you.”

Evarts said he plans to demolish the former City Hall and the two other buildings next spring and begin construction in late spring. The new four-story buildings should be completed by November 2020, he said.

The council’s approval mirrored a recommendation from a city committee that evaluated both proposals. The council voted during a joint meeting with the Meridian Development Corp., which had earlier voted for the Novembrewhisky plan.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell.
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