Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 13, 2016
RDA approves memorandum to move retail project forward

A site plan with tenants for a large and long-delayed retail development on Tooele City Main Street may be finished by next summer, a city official says.

The site plan involves 33 acres of prime retail land that lies southwest of the intersection of Main Street and 1000 North and behind the 7-11 convenience store/Wendy’s restaurant. The land is owned by the Tooele City Redevelopment Agency and for years has been targeted by city officials for major retail development.

“We hope to come back in six to eight months with a site plan with actual tenants that we can move forward with,” said Randy Sant, economic development consultant for the city, during last Wednesday night’s RDA business meeting at City Hall.

The site plan is part of a new memorandum of understanding called Resolution 2016-05 between the city’s RDA and The Boyer Company. Boyer, a real estate development firm in Salt Lake City, is interested in eventually buying the land from the RDA and developing it for retail use.

The RDA approved the memorandum at Wednesday’s meeting and it sets the terms and conditions under which the property will be developed for retail and mixed use.

The RDA, which consists of the city council and Mayor Patrick Dunlavy, announced in late 2015 it was going to buy the property for a reported $5 million from a previous developer to control its future development and make sure it didn’t end up being sold for housing. The RDA used the sale of a franchise tax revenue bond to make the purchase, and will pay it back after selling the property to a developer.

The RDA announced last July it had agreed to sell the 33-acre site to Boyer for $5 million. But as indicated in the approved memorandum, the finalization of that sale may not occur until a number of development-related items are completed first.

As outlined in the memorandum, Boyer, at its expense, will work with architects and civil engineers to “prepare a Preliminary Site Plan for the project that will include conceptual retail and mixed use areas, parking areas” and other related infrastructure.

“They’ll also be responsible for tenant acquisition,” said Sant. “They’ll do letters of intent with the anchor tenant and other retailers and will also work with us to prepare a master plan for the property.”

The city’s responsibilities and costs include providing a title commitment, a boundary and topographical survey, all property files, and environmental and geotechnical reports.

However, Sant noted both the RDA and Boyer can proceed with a purchase and sale agreement, and other agreements, at any time as long as they’re consistent with the memorandum. Also, either party may terminate the memorandum without cause.

“This is a better agreement … We feel this is a much better direction to go then to enter into a property/purchase agreement with not having all of the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed,” said Sant. “This [the memorandum] gets all of the i’s dotted and t’s crossed.”

The RDA unanimously approved Resolution 2016-05. The memorandum terminates at the end of one year.

According to Boyer’s website, the company is one of the largest real estate development firms in the western United States. Some of its past projects include the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City and the Commons in Sugarhouse.

David Bern

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
David Bern is editor of the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin. The 54-year-old journalist began his career with the Transcript-Bulletin as an intern reporter from Utah State University in 1983. He joined the newsroom full time that same year after completing his internship and graduating from USU with a degree in journalism. In 1989 he became editor and served in that capacity for six years. Under his leadership, he guided the newspaper to numerous awards for journalism excellence. After briefly stepping away from the newspaper in 1995, he returned in 1996 to start Transcript Bulletin Publishing’s Corporate and Custom Publishing Division. In that capacity he served as a writer, photographer and editor for 17 years. During that time he created a variety of print and digital communication materials, including brochures, magazines, books and websites. Bern returned to serve as editor of the newspaper in January 2013.

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