Stop The Meridian Big Box Take Over - NO To Linder Village Costco & Winco
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Meridian is destined to become like Boise. Sprawling big box developments like Linder Village Commercial Development will only serve to continue the destruction of our small-town character and charm, pushing our community further into becoming a metropolitan area. Our city officials continue to approve development that encourages massive growth without contemplating the negative impacts it’s having on its residents, particularly those who moved to Meridian explicitly because it wasn’t Boise. Enough is enough.
A Costco and WinCo in the same shopping center will create a traffic nightmare. Traffic on W Chinden Blvd is already bad and is expected to only get worse even without the Linder Village development. This shopping center will require an additional interchange with stop light on W Chinden that will slow traffic even more. The traffic along N Linder is not much better than W Chinden. The anticipated LDS Meridian Temple will generate significant regular traffic, coupled with the traffic generated at Rocky Mountain High School.
A Costco and WinCo by themselves generate thousands of additional daily traffic trips. An average Costco Wholesale store is 145,000 square feet, though they can go as large as 205,000 square feet. The average WinCo store in the area is 85,000. On the low end that means the two big box stores in Linder Village alone will be 230,000 square feet of new retail. It’s easy to assume that upwards of 10,000 new daily traffic trips will be generated by these two stores alone; that number will be increased on Saturdays. This estimate does not include the traffic impacts of a Costco fuel center (15-20 fuel pumps), which can generate hundreds of additional daily traffic trips. There are no acceptable traffic mitigation strategies that can alleviate the daily traffic impacts Linder Village will create. Weekday commuter traffic on N Linder will only get worse. Traffic problems will start when High School gets out through peak shopping times at Linder Village - there will be no break. The congestion on W Chinden will only worsen.
The infrastructure costs for Linder Village will be passed on to Meridian taxpayers through the Idaho Department of Transportation’s STARS (Sales Tax Anticipation Revenue) program. Through STARS the developer will be reimbursed for the road improvements necessary to develop the project. The State developed STARS as an alternative to TIFS (Tax Incremental Financing), which use a percentage of sales tax revenues over a set periods of time to reimburse developers of a retail development. Either way, taxpayers end up fitting the bill for the infrastructure costs, while the developers walk away with millions of dollars in profit.
Meridian has an enough grocery options (which includes a multitude of big box stores). Residents in north Meridian are not in a grocery desert. Within a few miles radius there are plenty of grocery options including a Fred Meyer and Walmart Supercenter. WinCo Foods already has two grocery stores in Meridian. How can a community of only 90,000 residents sustain the addition of two more big box stores? Below is a list of the major grocery store options in Meridian -
Existing WinCo Foods
- 1050 S Progress Ave, Meridian, ID 83642
- 2600 E Overland Rd, Meridian, ID 83642
Existing Walmart Supercenters
- 4051 E Fairview Ave, Meridian, ID 83642
- 5001 N Ten Mile Rd, Meridian, ID 83646
- 20 E Fairview Ave, Meridian, ID 83642
- 3301 W Cherry Ln, Meridian, ID 83642
Existing Fred Meyers
- 1850 E Fairview Ave, Meridian, ID 83642
- 1400 W Chinden Blvd, Meridian, ID 83646
Existing Rosauers Supermarket
- 2986 North Eagle Road, Meridian, ID 83646
There are already two Costco Wholesale big box stores equidistant from W Chinden Blvd & N Linder Rd. The stores in Boise and Nampa are both 12.5 miles from the proposed new Costco site. At most it only takes someone 20 minutes to drive to one of these stores! A store at this location is not necessary given the impacts Costco’s have an area, particularly traffic generation.
Linder Village Commercial Development will be another vehicle-focused strip mall development. The developers of Linder Village have an opportunity to create a pedestrian-friendly, family-oriented retail development which encourages people to walk and/or ride bicycles. There is an opportunity to create a shopping area that encourages people to congregate, creating a sense of community. However, instead, they are discussing a shopping center that is the complete opposition. Neither a WinCo nor a Costco encourage or even make possible a place where people want to spend time. They are by nature designed to move you in and get you out. And while people enjoy both stores, there are plenty of non-welcoming shopping centers currently in existence (aka Fred Meyer shopping center and the Walmart shopping center).
Join us in calling for DMG Real Estate Partners and Meridian City Officials to work with the community in finding alternatives to Linder Village Commercial Development. We believe there are alternative retail options and potential uses of the property that will both satisfy the needs of the community and the investment for the developer. The area does not need nor desires two grocery-focused big box stores nor another unfriendly strip mall development!
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