by Mayor Simison

As I peer out my office window this morning, I can’t help but feel excitement.  There are big things happening right in the heart of Meridian, our downtown.  Three major projects (and several other small projects) are underway that will add to the vibrancy of our downtown.  These projects were big ideas for local visionaries a few years ago, and today, dirt is moving and they are preparing to lay the foundation for a vibrant downtown!

Along East Broadway, a chain link fence surrounds what will soon become two, four-story mixed use buildings featuring apartments, retail, and commercial space. Here, where the previous City Hall, UnBound library and banks once stood, there will soon be 33 residential units in one building and 69 in the other, both having retail and commercial spaces on the ground floor (15,000 sq. ft. total).

Immediately east of City Hall, a lot that has either sat empty or has been underutilized for years is changing. Union Pacific Railroad is having the previous tenant of the property clean it up. The current activity is focused on the demolition of vacant buildings. This is in anticipation of future development, and the City has received a development application for a new project on this site that is moving through the process.

On the south side of the railroad tracks at Main and Bower Streets, Keller Associates, Inc. recently broke ground on a project that will bring Keller employees into the heart of Meridian. Keller, a current Meridian business could have chosen anywhere to build their new home, but they are committed to downtown. This site will bring public parking to downtown, multiple buildings, and provide space for growth of Keller, as well as additional tenants.  I was honored to speak at their groundbreaking event and reflect on the many conversations surrounding this project that have taken place over the past several years.  It is wonderful to see those conversations become a reality.

For a city’s downtown to be a destination, not just a pass-through, it has to have the right balance of walkability, livability, and workability. There need to be restaurants, stores, and coffee shops that attract customers.  We need companies with employees that not only work to keep the businesses alive and thriving, but also second as patrons to their neighbors.  Lastly, to be well rounded, a downtown should have a place for business owners, employees, and customers to live, allowing them to plant roots near their job or favorite amenities.

It is important to note that Keller - as well as the others who are working on the additional two projects -  are committed to downtown Meridian. They share our vision for a downtown and I am excited to watch the progress of these projects as they move forward.

Was this helpful?