"Tear down that wall," said Bieter, pointing to the billboards that have lined the corner of Eighth and Main streets. "And build this building."
Bieter was all smiles along with officials from the Gardner Company, owners of the site, and Zions Bank, which will move its Idaho headquarters into a new 15-story building at Eighth and Main.
Better known as "The Hole," the location hasn't seen any business since a fire destroyed the Eastman building in 1987. What followed were decades of endless promises of new construction, lawsuits and eventual bankruptcy. In July, the Gardner Company, which developed The Portico in Meridian, acquired the site from Capps Holdings, which had purchased the property in a foreclosure auction.
The new Eighth and Main building will include two stories of retail, three levels of parking (180 stalls) and the remaining floors for offices, including Zions' headquarters. The building's top floor will include a so-called "Founders Room" available to the public for meetings and receptions.
Bieter also announced that the city would defer impact fees to the developers until the first tenant has moved in. Bieter said the same incentive would be available over the next six months for "any new commercial project" that brings in a new development.
Construction for the LEED-certified building is expected to begin within six months.