Several new developments are underway in Logan City, and one of them includes the redevelopment of the Emporium in Historic Downtown Logan. Kirk Jensen is the Economic Development Director for the city and he says several ideas have come in from developers about the property.
“The city has recently put out a Request for Qualifications to various people in the development and real estate community,” he explains. “We are basically inviting, or gauging, the level of interest with the development community in terms of redeveloping that property, potentially, into something new.
“We’ve recently closed that response period for that Request for Qualification and got some good response from some developers who have interest in exploring, with the city, what might be able to be done there.”
Jensen says the proposals are being reviewed and anticipates that a developer will be selected by the end of the month. By May, the city will be exploring the finer details about the project with the developer. The Request for Qualification is different than a Request for Proposal that the city issued last year, with very limited response.
The city is open to various ideas for the property, but is certainly interested in making it mixed-use, says Jensen.
“We feel like housing is a critical component to the downtown,” Jensen continues. “Certainly, that could come into play at the Emporium site.”
Jensen says his office is closely monitoring the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, as they discuss rezoning portions of downtown to what is known as a Town Center Zone. He says the zoning update would be important to help resurrect a formerly-proposed apartment complex on 100 East near Garff Gardens, behind Chuck-A-Rama.
“We’re hopeful that once that zoning is worked through,” Jensen continues, “which is currently happening with the Logan City Planning Commission and subsequently that will go to the Logan City Council for a decision…we’re hopeful that a project could be resurrected back there at that location.”
Jensen calls it a “key site” and feels the apartment complex would blend in with fabric of downtown Logan.
Other notable projects currently underway, or happening soon, include the new Hampton Inn and Suites currently under construction on the corner of 200 North Main. Jensen believes that project may be completed in the fall.
Steak ‘n Shake, a national hamburger and milkshake franchise, will be coming to Logan soon, as well. Jensen says the fast food restaurant will be built in Logan just south of the Starbucks located at 724 South Main. The Logan location would only be the third Steak ‘n Shake in the state of Utah.
Operating also as the city’s Executive Director of the Redevelopment Agency, Jensen says the city is engaging more and more in sprucing up older homes and neighborhoods throughout the city. On Tuesday, the Logan City Council unanimously approved the Neighborhood Reinvestment Grant Program which helps residents revitalize homes built before 1970.
“It’s a grant program so if someone is looking to invest in the exterior of their home, they could apply for some grant funding to match what they are investing. There are different levels of match, depending on what kind of work on their exterior they are proposing.”
For example, Jensen explains, paint and landscaping are matched more aggressively by the city than a roof. The primary focus of the program is to improve the aesthetics and curb appeal of homes.
“We’re hoping to see some reinvestment to some older parts of town such that the momentum flips. As you see an area start to be on the rise others might consider where they are looking to move.”
On Tuesday, City Councilwoman Amy Anderson said she ran for a seat mainly because she wanted to help improve neighborhoods. She said she is excited to see Mayor Holly Daines move forward with the neighborhood initiative.
“There are things we can do to help improve our quality of life and the quality of life of our neighbors here in Logan,” she said. “Looking at the grant program, which allows families who are low-to-moderate income here in Logan to have a matching program to do some of those exterior improvements, is going to prove to be a win-win for everybody involved.”