City officials hope to lure COSTCO warehouse with RDA grants

Kris and Jason Larsen are negotiating with officials of COSTCO to lure the wholesale membership warehouse to their Blue Springs Business Park in west Logan

LOGAN – The city of Logan has planned another financial investment in the Blue Springs Business Park project on the city’s west side.

This one to the tune of $1.4 million.

Acting in their capacity as the Logan Redevelopment Agency (RDA), the members of the city council voted unanimously to provide the $1.4 million in incentives to the project by Kris and Jason Larsen to fund infrastructure improvements to the rapidly growing business park.

Specifically, those financial incentives will defray the cost of installing 1200 North Street between 800 West and 1000 West; extending 800 West Street between 1000 North and 1200 North; and certain improvements to 1000 West Street.

The RDA grant is conditional, however, on the Larsens landing a COSTCO wholesale membership warehouse as a tenant of their commercial development.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Jason Larsen said that negotiations with COSTCO officials are still in progress.

According to city Resolution 21-37 RDA, the proposed COSTCO warehouse will be a 165,000 square-foot structure fronting on 1000 West Street.

Earlier Tuesday evening, the city council cleared the way for the big box giant’s warehouse by approving Ordinance 21-12, allowing the construction of buildings exceeding 100,000 square-feet in the city’s industrial zone.

As an additional incentive to the wholesaler, the RDA also agreed to assume responsibility for any impact fees relating to water, sewer, wastewater, roads, electricity and water rights for the warehouse facility and associated fueling station.

City officials say that those incentives to the Blue Springs Business Park are a worthwhile investment because the proposed COSTCO warehouse will boost property tax revenues, generate sales tax revenues resulting from $160 million in estimated gross annual sales, provide more than 150 new jobs and serve as a catalyst for additional commercial development west of the city center.

In addition to those benefits, Jason Larsen said that COSTCO would help to diversify Logan’s business community by encouraging it to expand to the west rather than just north and south. He also said the warehouse store would help to mitigate traffic congestion on Main Street.

Public comments concerning the incentive package were not all positive, however.

Business owner Tony Nielson said that traffic on 1000 West is already bad and would only get worse with the construction of a COSTCO warehouse.

Mayoral candidate Dee Jones expressed doubt about the city’s expectations of its return on investment, suggesting that the estimated $160 million in annual sales at COSTCO was overly optimistic for Cache Valley.

That concern was shared by Keegan Garrity, a candidate for a city council seat in the upcoming municipal election.

While praising COSTCO as a business, Garrity questioned whether the proposed incentives represented “the gold standard” in RDA investments.

He also noted that he’d seen news reports that the average household income of COSTCO members was $90,000 per year, compared to the $45,000 average household income of Logan residents.

Representing Café Ibis, Lisa Wilson argued that RDA funds might be better invested in the expansion and promotion of local businesses.

Despite those opinions, council member Amy Z. Anderson emphasized that the members of the RDA had a fiscal responsibility to help Logan capture both the property tax and sales tax revenues that the COSTCO warehouse would provide.

Development of the Blue Springs Business Park has been underway since 2020. The project was originally envisioned as occupying 37 acres bounded on the east by 600 West St., on the south by 1000 North St. and the west by 1000 West St.

In August of 2020, the Larsen told city council members that the intended to construct eight buildings for industrial and warehouse purposes in three phases over a period five years.

The Logan RDA then approved a grant of $500,000 for the business park.

But Jason Larsen said Tuesday that the potential deal with COSTCO has revised those plans. With the proposed membership and fueling station expected to occupy 23 acres, he said the business park will now likely expand to nearly 60 acres.

In addition to the RDA grants, City Resolution 21-37 RDA also stipulates that all construction plans for the Blue Springs Business Park must be approved by the Logan Planning Commission and encourages the Larsens to utilize local contractors and vendors whenever possible.

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  • Don June 17, 2021 at 8:32 am Reply

    I hope they have finishing the intersection through the train tracks on 600 W as part of this project.

  • adhw June 18, 2021 at 6:24 am Reply

    “In addition to those benefits, Jason Larsen said that COSTCO would help to diversify Logan’s business community by encouraging it to expand to the west rather than just north and south. He also said the warehouse store would help to mitigate traffic congestion on Main Street.” That is a smart idea!!

  • Paul June 18, 2021 at 11:24 am Reply

    Costco is good addition to Logan. I think it is about time to consider major modifications to Logan traffic/ roads. perhaps need to take down those houses 100 W 200 W 100 E 200 E make it into wider roads.

  • Aaron June 18, 2021 at 2:33 pm Reply

    They say it will yield a return on investment based on taxes from $160 million in sales per year. Even assuming the store does that much business, much of that would be money that would have been spent at other local businesses anyway, so that’s no net increase in tax revenue. Only that part of that $160 million that is what would have otherwise been spent outside the valley, or not spent at all, can be included to calculate the return on investment for the city.

    • Blayne July 14, 2021 at 10:18 am Reply

      100% agree. This isn’t new money, this is current money already being spend in the community, but now gets filtered over to Costco. Costco doesn’t help the local community like our locally owned businesses do. I would argue they hurt a community more than help.

  • Eugene Bodrero June 21, 2021 at 7:48 am Reply

    We live in a cramped little valley. We want progress. We want growth. Logan city wants the tax money. And, landowners want value from their assets, whether purchased or inherited. Farming, parks, and natural space don’t give you a $return$ on investment, which is what the Larsens desire.

    Logan’s business district is highly concentrated on the main route through town. Nibley, Millville, North Logan, and Hyde Park would still only have Hwy 91 to offer.

    It is rumored that Costco has three parcels in the valley, one of which is the old LMC/DeLorean property on the corner of airport road and Highway 91. Better in some ways, not in others. But, I think a better choice.

    In the end, buying more stuff makes us more happy, so wherever Costco goes, paving paradise and putting up a parking lot might be the best thing. In fact it may be the only way to know what we had.

  • Barnabus June 22, 2021 at 4:36 pm Reply

    I am all about Costco coming to Logan. Maybe, the RDA could swing a second In and Out on the west side as well. Then of course we really need to widen Hwy 30 across the cutler marsh, as well as place a traffic signal at the intersection of Hwy 30 and Hwy 23. I am so excited to see our little valley look just like the LA valley in a few years only with poorly designed infrastructure to support it. I love sitting in congested traffic.
    Maybe we could get some of the USU trust lands and develop that as well.

  • Gary Woodland June 28, 2021 at 3:12 pm Reply

    These incentives are just garbage. The city is giving away $1.4 million in order to capture a never-ending stream of sales tax. In other words, they are bribing Costco so they can tax the citizens of Logan even more. Governments are oppressive – at every level.

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