The current design of the Ten Mile and Franklin roads intersection was intentional, says Caleb Hood, planning division manager for the City of Meridian, and so was its growing reputation as a hub for multifamily living.
Stakeholders began collaborating on the design and desires of the intersection around 2006, with the City of Meridian producing a guide document in 2007. Since then, several multifamily developments — 12 Oaks at Ten Mile, The Franklin at Ten Mile, and The Lofts — have set their footprint, and three of the four are just getting started.
“We didn’t want it to be just another interchange on I-84,” Hood said. “We wanted to do something special, not just a lot of gas stations, drive-throughs, … we wanted to create a mixed-use center with employment opportunities.”
The Ten Mile and Franklin roads intersection in Meridian is just down the road from several high-rise (5-6 story) office buildings, displaying names like Brighton, Paylocity and Saltzer Health, in the hope that some nearby residents will have a very short commute to work. Immediate, smaller commercial establishments featuring food and vehicle maintenance, a church and a health care facility are right on the intersection corners, in the Ten Mile Crossing complex.
For those traveling, the intersection is approximately two streets down from the I-84 connection, which includes a Park & Ride lot on Ten Mile. This provides easy access to the bigger Treasure Valley cities hosting the most jobs, such as Boise and Nampa. Arterial roads nearby have been built out to accommodate heavy traffic flow for those not using the interstate.
“There’s never going to be a perfect growth plan, but Meridian did everything (it) could to make sure (it) grew (in a way) that worked for the community,” said Carl Miller, demographer for COMPASS. “They have done a good job of bringing stakeholders together and working with developers to achieve those types of things they want.”
COMPASS had given input on the guiding document, called the Ten Mile Specific Area Plan, regarding transportation topics, taking the entire region into perspective, considering traffic impact, public health, economic development and more.
There are a number of benefits to the intersection’s design and planning, Miller said, including, sometimes, more affordable housing and a smaller residential footprint on land. While more traffic is generally created, Miller said, COMPASS, the City of Meridian and other stakeholders can, possibly, implement public transportation options or other mitigations, including, as Hood mentioned, more opportunities to work closer to home.
As the Ten Mile and Franklin intersection continues to develop. COMPASS and the City of Meridian, among others, continue to plan for, and sometimes adapt to, the change.
“They’re just really kind of scratching the surface of development units in that area; we’re in pretty much constant consultation with developers and programmers out there,” Hood said. “This is the center of the Treasure Valley. Basically, you’ve got housing, and jobs all around. If you want to live in the heart of the Treasure Valley, this is where you’re gonna be.”
What’s next for the Ten Mile and Franklin intersection?
Ground has been broken for more commercial development — including right on one of the intersection corners — and the current plan is to “infill” on those spaces.
Brighton, The Franklin at Ten Mile and 12 Oaks at Ten Mile all have more multifamily structures in the works.
The Lofts, with a total of 240 units, is complete after breaking ground in 2018, according to community manager Kevin Gannon. The development is at 90% capacity, Gannon added, with diverse resident demographics.
“The potential for growth is amazing,” Gannon said. “All along Ten Mile has a lot of potential. I think it’s a great location.”
“Explicitly, on all four sides of that intersection, we have higher-density residential planned; only two of those have come to fruition so far,” Hood said. “The others are going through the process of getting approved,” though there is nothing to name at this point.
You can still get a feel for the area’s history, Hood said, as you drive down Ten Mile Road toward the intersection. Some of the area’s historic farmland still remains, providing a transition from a rural environment to an urban one.
The entire Ten Mile Specific Area Plan covers four square miles, but the Ten Mile and Franklin roads intersection is “at the heart of it.” While the plan detailed much around land use and current transportation infrastructure for the commercial and residential development it hosts today, many other topics were considered as well.
Utility representatives for power, sewer and water were at the table, ensuring current and future infrastructure needs were accounted for. A natural gas pipeline runs through the area, Hood added, and developers had to be sensitive to that.
One school site is planned for, but that is a ways out, Hood said, as much of the anticipated development was commercial.
An Urban Renewal District was formed with Brighton and other developers to help put in a lot of that infrastructure ahead of time, from streetlights to road improvements, Hood said, and now are being reimbursed.
The City of Meridian also worked with Ada County High District and Idaho Transportation Department to determine access points particularly near the freeway and to secure right of way for road and sidewalk expansions.
“We do envision a commuter rail or a light rail stop along that corridor (as well),” Hood said.
In addition to giving The City of Meridian and other stakeholders feedback on whether long-range goals are being met as the area grows, it also offers the community its 2040-2.0 plan that looks at the region’s estimated growth and evolving transportation system.
Miller and COMPASS spokesperson Amy Luft advise community members to familiarize themselves with that plan (and keep watch for an upcoming 2050 plan), and get involved in whatever public input opportunities become available. They are sure stakeholders such as the City of Meridian value such input, and COMPASS values the input, as it can’t provide everything everyone wants while keeping taxes low.
“We’re an area that’s been growing; we want to make sure the people involved understand the issues and the tradeoffs involved,” Miller said.
“Being involved, it makes a difference,” Luft said. “It really does influence what happens.”
Current Multifamily Developments at Ten Mile and Franklin roads
12 Oaks at Ten Mile, 1969 W. Franklin Road
- 1-3 bedroom apartments and townhomes
- 1 bedroom/1 bathroom starts at $975
- 2 bedroom/2 bathroom, 807 square feet, is listed at $1,230
- 3 bedroom/2 bathroom, 1,026 square feet, is listed at $1,335
- Pets are allowed
- Amenities include a clubhouse and fitness center
The Franklin at Ten Mile, 3800 W. Perugia St.
- 1-3 bedroom apartments
- 1 bedroom/1 bathroom starts at $1,275
- 2 bedroom/1 bathroom, 882 square feet, starts at $1,400
- 3 bedroom/2 bathroom, 1,180 square feet, starts at $1,500
- Amenities include 24/7 fitness center, dog park and outdoor lounge
The Lofts, 2940 W. Cobalt Drive
- 1-2 bedroom apartments
- 1 bedroom/1 bathroom, 701 square feet, starts at $1,226
- 2 bedroom/2 bathroom, 932 square feet, starts at $1,383
- Amenities include 24/7 fitness center, clubhouse and pool