CHUBBUCK — The development at the corner of Burley Drive and East Linden Avenue in Chubbuck is more than a new City Hall. It is the hub of Chubbuck’s soon-to-be downtown city center.
Everything about the development is designed for growth. The office space within the building will be filled at 60% capacity on day one, Chubbuck Public Works Director Rodney Burch explained to EastIdahoNews.com. Streets currently surrounding the building have been redesigned to accommodate an influx in foot traffic, and new streets are being laid with an eye on sufficient parking. The surrounding land has even been designated by the Chubbuck Development Authority (CDA) for small business occupancy.
“Some may say we’re overbuilding,” Burch said. “I say we’re investing in our future.”
Construction of the new City Hall began on April 28, 2020. Before that ever happened, the timeline has always been set for a July 2021 opening.
Throughout the 14-month build, CM Company, Inc., the Idaho-based construction company tasked with the development, has never been more than five days off of its timeline, according to Burch, and he is happy to report that the city is still on schedule for a July opening.
Construction of the building itself is only a small portion of the progress. Burley Drive and East Linden Avenue are being widened to allow for parking to be altered from parallel to diagonal, allowing for additional spaces.
New streets are also being added around the perimeter of the building. While the naming of those streets will be decided in a public meeting on Jan. 6, previous meetings have led to a set theme: mountains and rivers. The design of the streets, new and existing, will fall into the city center theme.
“They aren’t going to be like a typical roadway,” CM Company Regional Manager Garrett Goldade said. “They are going to be 10-foot sidewalks, a lot of plantings and street lights — lighting pedestals.”
“As much as we can resist it, we’re not going to do parking garages and parking lots” Burch added. “That’s why we converted from parallel parking to diagonal parking. We created enough parking in this block to not only serve City Hall but all those adjoining pads when they’re built out.”
One thing the city wanted the design to feature was “programmable space” or space that could serve a multitude of purposes.
With that in mind, the design, created by the Pocatello-based Myers-Anderson Architects, includes a multi-purpose room, which will be reservable for Chubbuck residents.
The MPR will feature a kitchen, dining and entertaining area, and an enclosed outdoor patio. Reservations will come with a keycard allowing access to the MPR during off hours that will be deactivated at the end of reserved time.
Also included in the plans is space for food trucks.
“[Food trucks] are popular and we try to pay attention to what are coming trends,” Burch said. “We’re committed to the food truck idea. We’ll take them as often as they want to be here. There’s pretty good space … we can institute food trucks next summer when we open, that’s pretty straight-forward.”
While mobile eateries, which have grown in popularity in recent years, will be included from the day City Hall opens, brick-and-mortar eateries are also something the city hopes to add.
The property surrounding City Hall was purchased by the CDA with hopes of leasing pads out to businesses. But not just any businesses – the city is eyeing local smaller businesses, Burch said, such as a satellite location for Barrie’s Ski and Sports. These parcels are small by design.
“[The CDA’s] challenge, their goal, is to repurpose and offer those parcels for development to those who want to come and be part of our downtown,” Burch said. … “If we can get local entrepreneurs and investors that want to occupy 1,000 square feet, we want to give them the opportunity to do it.”
A walkable downtown. Small shops and boutiques. Food trucks and diners. And perhaps a pub or bar. That is the plan for the area around the new City Hall.
The inside of the building will include a similar design.
“Just a little more time before the site starts to take its shape,” according to CM Company site superintendent Jim Frazier, with drywall and paint to be applied in the next few weeks.
The interior of the City Hall will be laid out in a “storefront concept,” Burch said, designed to naturally direct visitors. An information and greeting desk will be immediately accessed upon entry, with office space to the right and the MPR left. Also included in the first floor is a large conference room, where the city’s council and board meetings will take place.
Upstairs, the mayor and city’s administrative offices will occupy one side of the building, overlooking Burley Drive toward Geronimo’s Trampoline Park. On the other side, the Public Works department, complete with 14 offices and additional cubicle space, will overlook the soon-to-be-named, east-to-west-running street facing Rails West Federal Credit Union.
This development comes with a price tag of $9.9 million and presents an opportunity for the city to grow into it.
“We’re investing tax dollars, not spending them,” Burch said.