Main & Broadway logo

Josh Evarts’ logo for his proposed mixed-use, multistory development at Main Street and Broadway Avenue in downtown Meridian.

Courtesy of Josh Evarts

Meridian’s urban renewal agency is giving a proposed downtown development project more time to come together.

The Meridian Development Corporation board voted Feb. 14 to give Josh Evarts, a downtown business and property owner, another six months to work on his plans for Main and Broadway. Evarts is proposing a mixed-use development that would include retail, office space and residential units.

Evarts acquired a property at 703 N. Main St. from the urban renewal agency with an agreement to tear down the building, at the expense of MDC, and redevelop the property. The property is on the corner of Main Street and Broadway Avenue in downtown Meridian.

Evarts was also given the option to acquire the property next door, 713 N. Main St., which is used now for the Meridian Library District’s unBound branch.

Evarts has encountered some hurdles with his plan, including rising building costs, that have slowed progress, and as a result, he hasn’t met some deadlines in his agreement with MDC to demolish the building and submit plans, the board’s attorney, Todd Lakey, said.

Evarts previously told the board that an original plan of phased development starting with 703 N. Main St. wasn’t penciling out financially.

Evarts brought on developer Caleb Roope with The Pacific Companies to help form a new plan that incorporated more of the downtown block for redevelopment. That new, larger plan was contingent on acquiring more property, including some that is privately owned and the city-owned former city hall. That building is being used now by New Ventures Lab and has been eyed by the city as a possible site for a new courthouse.

The city would have to put out a request for proposals that would be open to any interested parties, if the city decides to sell the former city hall.

Evarts told the board he will take the extra time to look at both the possibility of proceeding with redevelopment of 703 and 713 N. Main St. or the entire block. He said he could still complete a successful project with just the two Main Street properties, but added he wants to make sure the block is developed the right way, because it’s an important block for downtown Meridian.


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