Northgate houses

Construction is underway on the first houses being built in the Northgate development in northeast Pocatello.

POCATELLO — The first few homes are under construction within a large-scale, multi-use development taking shape in the northeast portion of the city.

A local builder, Portneuf Development, and a Utah company called Millennial Development Partners are collaborating on the high-profile Northgate project. Northgate is planned to be a pedestrian-friendly district with a Portneuf Health Trust medical campus, thousands of homes, commercial retailers, a Class A business park and a gated community for seniors.

Ken Pape, with Portneuf Development, said he’s already poured two foundations and has the frame of a home erected on one of those sites within the gated community. He plans to move ahead on 10 more foundations within the next week and a half and should have the first dozen homes within the gated community finished by December.

“I’ve got some basements going in,” Pape said, adding the homes will contain “higher-end concepts.”

He said about half of the first dozen homes are already sold, and other potential buyers are on a waiting list.

Pape said new roadways accessing the Northgate project will likely open to the public within a few weeks, enabling people to drive through Northgate and survey the progress. He said an extension of Olympus Drive and a new interstate interchange to access the northeast part of town are also on schedule to open before the year’s end.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on at once. It’s so positive up here,” Pape said. “There’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes that people don’t actually see what it takes to put it together.”

Pape said work is also underway to improve surrounding infrastructure. New water lines, storm drains and curbs are under construction on Chubbuck Road near the project site. A stretch of Fairgrounds Road is being demolished and will be replaced to accommodate the installation of a new sewer line.

Furthering the project’s pedestrian-friendly concept, walking paths and tunnels have already been completed, Pape said. Pape said additional announcements regarding the project are on the horizon.

“We’ve got some more exciting things coming that are going to be announced in the next three to three and a half weeks,” Pape said.

Buck Swaney, with Millennial, said construction of buildings has not yet commenced on his portion of the project. However, Swaney said the “horizontal” work, which includes new infrastructure and preparing land for development, is more than half way complete. He emphasized that the project is “well funded and well underway.”

“Many of those lots will be ready (for building) in the coming months,” Swaney said.

Swaney is in the midst of redesigning and updating the commercial component of the project, adapting plans to a shifting market to make them “sustainable for the future.”

“The Amazon Age has affected retail in ways we are just learning about and experiencing as a whole economy,” Swaney said.