Downtown-worthy office buildings are on the way for the northwest corner of Meridian, where open landscape still dominates.
Local developers Tommy Ahlquist and David Turnbull see the eventual extension of Highway 16 south to Interstate 84 and the relentless Meridian westward residential crawl as the best ingredients to build Central Valley Plaza at the corner of Chinden Boulevard and Highway 16.
They announced the 71-acre, $100-million-plus Central Valley Plaza project Sept. 25 with intentions to start construction of a three-story, 90,000-square-foot medical office building anchored by HCAHealthcare in spring.
With inquiries already strong for retail and office space, Ahlquist believes the 1-acre retail pad and five-story, 120,000-square-foot second office building could start pretty close to the same time as the medical office building.
“A lot of CEOs live down there,” said Ahlquist, CEO of the newly established Meridian-based Ball Ventures Ahlquist (BVA) office development firm. “Why not have offices down there? There are people who don’t want to drive (to Boise) anymore.”
Ahlquist repeated the “don’t want to drive” line two more times during an interview with the Idaho Business Review.
He expects the medical office building to be complete in spring 2020.
HCAHealthcare sparked Central Valley Plaza
HCA was the driver to get Central Valley Plaza in motion. Turnbull, CEO of Brighton Corp., a Boise housing and commercial developer, has owned the Central Valley Plaza acreage since 2006. Ahlquist has had long relations with HCA executives, who some months back mentioned an interest to operate a third health care facility in Idaho. HCA already operates West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.
BVA and Brighton teamed up to bring HCA to Central Valley Plaza. BVA and Brighton have been partners for two years on the Ten Crossing and Ten Mile Creek office commercial and residential development and will now partner on other Brighton developments at Century Farm, Barber Station and Paramount Square.
“David is one of the pillars of the community,” Ahlquist said of Turnbull. “A lot of his values and visions align with ours. Cortney (Liddiard, CEO Ball Ventures) gets along with David, too.
BVA was established in June on the heels of Ahlquist’s failed bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in May. Ahlquist left his post as chief operating officer at Gardner Company to enter into a partnership with Idaho Falls-based developer Ball Ventures.
Ball Ventures and Gardner were already partners in the downtown Boise mixed-use Pioneer Crossing with the new Hilton Garden Inn, Panera Bread, Boise Chamber of Commerce, a garage and future home of First Interstate Bank. Ball Ventures owned 80 percent of Pioneer Crossing, and BVA recently bought out Gardner at Pioneer Crossing and Ten Mile Crossing, Ahlquist said.
More buildings coming to Ten Mile Crossing
Ten Mile Crossing has AmeriBen and Paylocity in the first two completed office buildings with Brighton planning to move into the third office building now under construction. BVA has its office in the Paylocity building.
Ten Mile Crossing should see 2019 construction starts on its fourth and fifth office buildings, both five stories and 120,000 square feet. One will be an AmeriBen expansion and the other a free-standing structure, Ahlquist said.
Several smaller office buildings will be announced in coming weeks, he added.
Turnbull was not available for interview but said in a press release: “Our goal at Brighton has always been to create the finest quality real estate projects in the Treasure Valley. Central Valley Plaza will bring much-needed services to north Meridian, and we are thrilled to partner with BVA on this site and our properties throughout the valley.”
Central Valley Plaza will also include the fourth Veranda senior housing facility, but construction is not expected to start until 2020. BVA and Brighton co-own the Veranda brand with assisted living, memory care and independent living with Veranda Paramount open in Meridian, Veranda Barber Station in southeast Boise under construction, and Veranda Century Farm in Meridian starting construction soon.
Central Valley Plaza will also have a row of flex office space with luxury office and roll-up garage doors in the back.
Ahlquist expects to build out the development in four years.