$1 million donation to benefit Center Block Plaza project

Logan Mayor Holly Daines announced Tuesday that a $1 million donation from The Jim and Carol Laub Family Foundation and Cache Valley Electric Company will benefit the city's Center Block Plaza project.

LOGAN – The Laub family of Logan is investing in the revitalization of downtown Logan in a big way.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Logan City council, Mayor Holly Daines announced that a $1 million donation for the city’s Center Block project has been received from the Jim and Carol Laub Family Foundation and Cache Valley Electric.

“We express our deep gratitude to the Laub family for this extraordinarily generous gift,” Daines said. “This gift is a significant investment in our historic downtown and research shows that downtown plazas return great dividends in terms of both revitalization and economic development.”

Jim Laub, the president and chief executive officer of Cache Valley Electric, said his family is “pleased to partner with Mayor Daines and Logan City to give back to our community in a way that will benefit our fellow citizens and make our city an even more beautiful, interesting and better place to live.”

The idea for a public plaza to replace the now-vacant Emporium Building on Main Street began as a suggestion from the public during a visioning meeting in summer of 2018.

Although an initial plan for the project was hotly opposed by some members of the business community, city officials persevered in developing alternative plans that eventually found favor with the Logan City Council, the Historic Preservation Committee and the City Planning Commission.

With those administrative hurdles past, demolition of the Emporium and adjacent structures is now expected during the upcoming winter months. Construction of the public plaza is set to begin in spring of 2022 with completion by the end of the year.

The city’s redevelopment agency has invested more than $4.3 million in the plaza project, including about $1.3 million for the demolition of the Emporium and adjacent structures to the north; about $2.1 million for construction of the public plaza; around $400,000 for the portable ice rink; and about $440,000 for construction of an outdoor stage and an administration building.

City officials also requested another redevelopment grant in the amount of nearly $1.6 million for the remodeling of structures adjacent to the proposal plaza to the south at 41 and 45 North Main Street.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Daines said that the Laub donation will help to defray the cost of the plaza’s stage, ice skating rink and splash pad.

“The free public plaza will create a gathering place,” the mayor explained, “to draw families and individuals downtown year-round to enjoy the amenities, entertainment, activities and events.”

In his prepared statement, Laub said that his family considers their donation “an investment in the community that has been so good to our family for over 100 years.

“We recognize the hard work and dedication of our current and former employees of Cache Valley Electric Company who, over its 106-year history, have helped to make this investment possible.”

Cache Valley Electric Company holds the oldest electric contracting license in the state of Utah, having been founded by Henry F. Laub in 1915. The small family business grew steadily in the decades that followed as a result of its dedication to the simple principles of hard work, making everything top quality and getting projects done on time.

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