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.