Downtown Boise is going through a hotel boom. Six have been proposed in the last six months and five have the city’s go-ahead for construction. At the same time, Meridian is trying to recruit someone to build a hotel in its downtown. But that effort has been unsuccessful so far.
Meridian officials actually want three things built in their city's downtown – a performing arts center, a conference center and a hotel. The city recently requested proposals for those but got zero response.
“We certainly would have liked to have had at least one proposal,” says Bruce Chatterton, Meridian’s community development director.
Chatterton says maybe they asked for too much in the request for proposals (RFP). Or maybe, he says, developers would prefer to build one or two of the projects rather than all three.
There is usually no shortage of people who want to build in Meridian. Between 2010 and 2014, the city grew by nearly 17 percent. In that same time Boise grew by less than five percent.
Chatterton lists several new businesses that have come to downtown Meridian, but he says downtown has not kept up with other parts of town.
“The downtown really is the symbol of a completely healthy and vibrant community,” he says “We can’t outsource our central business district, or we shouldn’t, to Boise or even to Nampa.”
Chatterton says a lot of people travel to do business with Meridian companies but stay and hold their meetings in Boise.
The lack of response to the RFP isn’t the end of the world. Chatterton says now Meridian officials are talking with developers directly and some are interested.
Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam
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