The Tooele City Redevelopment Agency has approved another extension to the proposed $4.2 million sale of RDA-owned land at 1000 N. Main to a developer for retail development.
The RDA, which is comprised of the City Council and Mayor Debbie Winn, approved Resolution 2018-09 on Dec. 19, which extends the sale’s due diligence period with M-53 Associates of Salt Lake City from Dec. 21 to Dec. 31.
“We continue to work forward on the closing of our property,” said Randy Sant, the City’s economic development consultant. “However, we’re still working on the agreement. … We are making progress, but we do need to extend this.”
The approved resolution lists a number of items that need to be agreed upon between the RDA and M-53, including the RDA’s financial obligations toward building a road through the project area, water rights, sewer collection line relocation, soils remediation, subdivision plat preparation and conducting a traffic study.
On Nov. 7, the RDA approved an extension to Dec. 21 because of soil issues discovered on site last summer and some other project- related concerns, according to Sant. Those soil issues involve the remediation of approximately 40,000 cubic yards of construction waste found buried on the property last August during a geotechnical study.
Although the RDA and M-53 are still negotiating over issues, the RDA approved a master site plan from M-53 on Dec. 19 that shows the location of retail and office buildings, plus parking lots on the 33-acre property. It includes an access road that runs diagonally through the development from 200 West to Main Street.
Jim Bolser, director of the city’s community development department, said the master site plan is a requirement of the sale agreement between the RDA and M-53, and is a step in addition to city and state code requirements.
“It’s one that’s been added into the agreement for the property as a method of assurance for both the city and the developer as far as what will go on there,” Bolser said.
He said it is a master site plan, but not a final site plan. He noted additional planning stages for buildings and lots will go through a formal and final site plan process through the administration.
City Council Chairman and RDA member Steve Pruden noted how long the city has been waiting for the 1000 North project to become reality.
“I’m putting this picture [map] on my office wall because I’ve been involved in this for 14 years,” he said. “… I’m just excited as heck.”
The RDA unanimously approved the master site plan.
Afterward, Sant told the RDA that M-53 and a realtor continue to move forward on prospective tenants for the property and are near signing lease agreements. The focus is to bring in tenants that don’t already exist in the market, like women’s clothing stores, general merchandise, shoe stores, and “hopefully a couple of restaurants.”
“There’s going to be around 120,000 square-feet of new retail,” Sant said. “This retail will generate about $60 million in new sales, which will [total] about $490,000 in new sales tax to the city. So it’s a very big project we’ve been working on … and I think we’re at the point where we are getting close to where we can actually see the baby.”
He noted the RDA’s approval of the master site plan helps the project get one step closer to becoming reality.
The city’s RDA bought the property for $5.1 million in 2015 from Gilad Development to assure the site — deemed as a prime commercial/retail location in the city — wouldn’t be developed only for residential use.
A real estate purchase contract was signed between the RDA and M-53 last April. The $4.2 million sale price to M-53 includes a stipulation that if M-53 does not begin construction within two years after closing, it must pay the RDA another $1 million.
Despite the series of extensions, groundbreaking is still scheduled for this spring, according to Sant.