Living: Creating a Village

Something special is emerging where Eagle and Meridian meet

By Amy Larson

Imagine being able to exercise, work, lunch with associates and clients, and in the evening meeting a date for dinner and a movie on IMAX-style screens. Picture taking a stroll in the park, or sitting by a Bellagio-inspired fountain that releases glittering, choreographed bursts of water and light to music on the hour. Consider what it might be like to relax at your choice of quality restaurants, with patios and fire pits facing walkways in a collaborative, friendly way, specially designed with the thought of bringing people together.

No longer a mere figment on architectural graph paper, the Village is moving forward and will soon be offering the Treasure Valley 500,000 plus square feet of premier, upscale specialty and high end apparel shops, an expansive selection of home goods, enviable restaurants, 150,000 square feet of quality office spaces, and a one-acre park with children’s play area, a concert and outdoor event space, seasonal ice skating, comfortable seating, and fire pits.

Fashioned after CenterCal’s award-winning Bridgeport Village in Portland, called ‘one of the finest lifestyle projects in America’, the Village at Meridian’s October grand opening will be unique, touted as ‘one of the most significant commercial projects ever developed in the state of Idaho.’

“We’ve mastered the details. This will be the premium version of everything we’ve done up to this point. It will be the biggest, and the best,” said CenterCal’s Idaho General Manager, Hugh Crawford.

Several retailers already enjoy occupancy at The Village at Meridian. Will Webb, Owner of Which Wich? Superior Sandwiches commented, “It’s not just where people will go to shop and spend money. It’s where people will go to spend their time.”

The diversity of nearly one hundred retail options, described as first class, is cause for local excitement. Tenants being approached are carefully considered.

Oconik, a local Idaho custom eyewear and apparel retailer, is among the chosen. National names such as Kona Grill, Yardhouse, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, as well as Chico’s, White House Black Market, Soma Intimates, and GoLite are making their presence known. One of the original tenants, Big Al’s, is developing a backyard fire pit and bocce ball court.

Plans have been solidified for a 2014 opening of local favorite, Axiom Fitness, offering exclusive amenities, such as a virtual cycling room, web-accessible interactive cardio equipment, and featuring Ax-Flix, with popular movies for those using the room’s cardio machines.

Hugh Crawford enthusiastically describes his experience while observing a project of this magnitude being built, literally from the ground up. “It’s growing fast. Within a week, things change quickly. The primary construction will be done in mid-October, with the (15 stadium, all-digital screen) movie theater and a lot of the restaurants this fall. We’re bringing in retailers the Valley’s never seen before,” said Crawford. “We also have a strong commitment to creating a community connection and making The Village at Meridian a gathering place.”

Two pavilion buildings on the one-acre park will be serving up fresh, local food. The multi-screen movie theater will also include a full service bar/bistro with a large second floor patio overlooking the fountain and the park. Patrons will be able to enjoy food in the bistro or in custom reserved balcony seating on the second floor.

With the adjacent Kleiner Park, The Village at Meridian management foresees a mutually advantageous synergy happening between the two locations. The events Kleiner Park will bring in can be accentuated by The Village at Meridian’s retailers and eateries, and vice versa.

Events at The Village at Meridian will include harvest markets, a summer concert series, ice skating, Fridays by the Fire which will consist of local entertainment and catered treats surrounding one of several fire pits in the park area, as well as family activities and performances by local community organizations.

“We are busy meeting with local community groups and laying out the holiday and 2014 Events calendar,” said Ramona Merrill Richardson, Regional Marketing Director for CenterCal.

“The Village at Meridian will offer our shoppers experiences not previously available in this region in an unparalleled environment. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the public will not be prepared for how truly remarkable the setting will be. It’s a promise,” she adds, “that’s now turning into a reality.”

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