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MERIDIAN — Plans for redevelopment of downtown Meridian’s Civic Block, an urban renewal project that will update the city’s community center, now include senior and workforce housing as well as space for a health clinic.

The mixed-use project is led by Boise developer Galena Opportunity Fund. Galena President Bill Truax updated Meridian City Council members on the Civic Block progress during a July 21 work session.

Truax told the council that Galena is planning to apply for tax credits, based on the current plans that include low-income housing, through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, a Boise-based affordable housing financier, developer and manager.

“Dependent on whether we are successful or not will determine what path we move on on the Civic Block,” Truax said.

Truax said he expects Galena will know whether the tax credit application was successful in November or December.

Included in the plans are a 40-unit low-income housing project and a 60-unit workforce housing project, both of which would have income restrictions.

Truax said Galena is “trying to create an effective economic stratification” downtown and wants to “provide some optionality” for certain occupations such as teachers, police officers and “other jobs that are definitely needed downtown, (to) create a nice fabric and framework for the future of the area.”

Both the senior and workforce housing are proposed as seven-story buildings, which would be the tallest in downtown. The bottom three floors of each building are planned as 155-stall parking structures. Each housing unit would come with one parking stall, according to a graphic outlining the Civic Block plans.

Also included in the plans is a Terry Reilly Health Services clinic, which would occupy 9,000 square feet on the first floor of the workforce housing parking garage. Terry Reilly is a health care provider with locations throughout the Treasure Valley and Southwest Idaho. A new Terry Reilly clinic combined with affordable senior housing is also going up in downtown Caldwell.

The thrust of the Civic Block project is redevelopment of Meridian’s aging community community center, which could house meeting space and a charter school.

The entirety of the Civic Block project is contingent on a another planned Galena development across the street.

Union 93 is a mixed-use development that would include hundreds of market-rate apartments and retail space, across two 100-foot-tall buildings, located on 6 acres at the southeast corner of Main Street and Broadway Avenue. The project is within a new urban renewal district, the Union District, along with the Civic Block.

The Civic Block project will rely on tax increment revenue that Union 93 is expected to generate.

Truax said Galena in the coming months will finalize land acquisition and regulatory hurdles that will allow the company to build on the Union 93 property formerly owned by the Union Pacific Railroad Company.

Once completed, non-public Civic Block developments, such as the apartments and health clinic, also would generate tax increment revenue for the Union District.

Ryan Suppe is the Meridian reporter for the Idaho Press. Contact him at 208-465-8119. Follow him on Twitter @salsuppe.

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