LOGAN – After meeting with downtown business owners and more than 100 curious residents Wednesday night, plans are moving forward on Center Block.
“We are grateful for the enthusiasm we had in the public meeting,” said developer Dan Lofgren, CEO of Cowboy Partners.
Lofgren has been working with Logan Mayor Holly Daines, council members and city planners for more than a year to come up with a concept for the space that currently houses the Emporium on Main Street and the properties around it.
The plan, unveiled during a public meeting and yet to be finalized, includes a 136 unit apartment building, a three story parking structure, retail and business space along with a public plaza.
The plaza, which will be operated and run by the city, will include a splash pad for summer activities and an ice rink for the winter. There will also be an area in the plaza to accommodate special performances and programs throughout the year.
“We have a concept we are pretty big fans of,” said Lofgren. “We’d like to see this direction continue.”
Those attending the public meeting also seemed to be fans of the project.
“I think you’re doing a fantastic job,” stated one woman.
Lofgren was looking for feedback during a question and answer period and he received plenty. There were suggestions about tweaking the design of the building, adding a second level for additional restaurants, adding a grocery store and incorporating art.
The majority of comments centered on concerns about the traffic and parking.
“Tonight’s input clearly influences how we think about those areas,” Lofgren said. “Parking access, the access off of Center Street and parking stalls. All pieces that are still in motion. That’s why we are here to try and make the right choices.”
The current project calls for a three story parking structure, but Lofgren is open to adding an additional level and said plans are fluid. He said it is something they will consider before designs are finalized.
“We do believe this project is feasible,” said Mayor Holly Daines. “There are many details to work out before we move forward to sign a specific development agreement, but we believe this could happen, if this is the direction we decide to go and move forward.”
Money for the city’s portion of the project will come from funds set aside for redevelopment.
“The city has been building funds for a number of years for just such a project,” said Daines.
“What I heard tonight was enough encouragement that we’ll move quickly to try and finalize negotiations with the city and bring back solutions to those three or four pieces that are still moving.” stated Lofgren.
He is hoping to finalize plans and get a development agreement signed between his company and the City in the next few months.
The project could take up to three years to complete.