Local governments pledge $16.8 million for Sandy retail development

Published: Tuesday, April 5 2011 6:39 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Council approved an interlocal agreement Tuesday that pledges $3.8 million in real and personal property tax increment over 25 years to a retail development at 11400 S. State Street in Sandy.

The total property-tax increment pledged to the development by seven different taxing entities is more than $16.8 million, $9.5 million coming from the Canyons School District.

The 22-acre site will be anchored by Scheels, a major sporting goods and outdoor gear "destination retailer" headquartered in Fargo, N.D. Sandy city competed with Boise to lure Scheels, which is well established in the Midwest but has had no presence in the Intermountain area. Sandy city officials have said Scheels is expected to have a regional draw. It has 23 stores in nine states.

According to documents, the total property-tax increment pledged to the development by seven different taxing entities is more than $16.8 million, with a $9.5 million increment coming from the Canyons School District.

However, the community development agreement enables the school district to use CDA proceeds to rebuild and develop the Mount Jordan Middle School campus as part of a revenue-sharing agreement. The district will keep 25 percent of the new tax revenues generated on the property — or about $3.2 million.

Scheels' Sparks, Nev., location offers a vast selection of sports equipment, sportswear, footwear and outdoor gear. It also features a 16-car indoor Ferris wheel, two 16,000-gallon aquariums, a 35-foot wildlife mountain, shooting galleries and simulators for golf, soccer and hockey.

The 295,000-square foot structure also includes a deli that serves gourmet soups and sandwiches, Starbucks coffee and 24 flavors of homemade fudge. It also features a Walk of Presidents.

The agreement approved by the County Council limits the county's participation to the retail project's initial phase. Sandy officials had asked the county for its full tax increment over the first phase of the project but county agreed to 75 percent, as did Canyons School District. Over time, the county's participation is expected to be a wash as it captures sales-tax revenues that offset the initial investment.

Sandy has agreed to contribute 100 percent of its tax increment and fund any project revenue shortfalls through other revenue sources, according to documents. 

Increased sales-tax collections plus the added value of the now-vacant land should make the county whole on its contributions over time, Sandy officials have said.

A technical analysis says the retailer would employ an estimated 185 full-time workers and 245 part-time employees at "above-average wages, plus benefits." 

Scheels, which is based in North Dakota, has stores in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nevada.

The company was founded as a general merchandise store in 1902 by Frederick A. Scheel in Sabin, Minn. It is privately held and employee-owned. It "owes its consistent success to its empowered associates, managers and partners who think and make decisions for their individual store and the entire company," the company website states.

A technical analysis says the retailer would employ an estimated 185 full-time workers and 245 part-time employees at "above-average wages, plus benefits."

Sandy officials say increased sales tax collections plus the added value of the now-vacant land should make the county whole on its contributions over time.

Sandy has agreed to contribute 100 percent of its property taxes and fund any project revenue shortfalls through other revenue sources, according to documents.     

In September, the Utah Department of Transportation opened a new exit off I-15 at 11400 South.

E-mail: marjorie@desnews.com

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