Tuesday night, for the first time, the name Costco replaced generic references to a "retail warehouse facility" in public discussion before the West Bountiful Redevelopment Agency.
Use of the title occurred as members of the agency met with RDA consultants and project developer Johansen-Thackeray to hammer out the final draft of a participation agreement.
But developer representative Armand Johansen cautioned later that the deal has not been finalized -- yet.
"You can say that Costco was mentioned as the anchor tenant for the RDA project area," he stated after the meeting, "and it's hoped a lease agreement can be executed within a week."
Any final announcement of Costco's coming to West Bountiful, however, will have to come from the headquarters of the warehouse retail giant in Seattle, Wash. So far, the firm, which operates 433 warehouse stores worldwide, has been been as quiet as a tomb on that topic.
If and when Costco confirmation is forthcoming, the new warehouse would anchor the first phase of development at the RDA project area. Although some preliminary site plans have been shuttled back and forth between West Bountiful and the developers, none has been released showing how the facility would be situated within the location.
The RDA is bounded by I-15 and 500 West, and 400 North and the ShopKo department store. Costco warehouses typically range in size from 70,000 to 160,000 square feet and average 136,753, according to company's Web site.
Tuesday, however, the immediate concern was the completion and adoption of the participation agreement. The document outlines the obligations of all of the parties and sets schedules of performance for the participant, or developer.
This includes a variety of capital improvements to the area like curb, gutter and sidewalk; parking, landscaping, lighting, water, sewer and other utilities. It also specifies how and when this work is to be undertaken.
The agreement also addresses the collection and distribution of tax increment financing, which West Bountiful will be using to fund the redevelopment project. One nagging detail, finally worked out Tuesday, dealt with when the developer would receive its share of such revenues and under what conditions.
City council and RDA member Bonnie Sorensen motioned to adopt the resolution approving and adopting the agreement. It passed by unanimous vote.
The RDA meeting was then adjourned. The same persons then switched hats, reconvening as city council members to approve and adopt the same document.
The journey to this point began, as John Thackeray noted during the meeting, "three years ago." It has not always been a pleasant trip.
In trying to put together a project area, the city and developer had to deal with multiple property owners and parcels of land with structures already on them. Some property owners did not want to sell. Others lodged a suit against the RDA.
One-by-one, the Redevel-opment Agency and developer attempted to resolve those disputes. Approval and adoption of the participation agreement between West Bountiful City, the RDA and Johansen-Thackeray Tuesday night was a major step forward. Thackeray thanked the RDA and city council members for their time and energy. He added his appreciation for the same from property owners. "After three years," he concluded, "it's nice to say 'we have a deal.'"