Modified plans and alternate options for Emporium site to be discussed at council meeting – Cache Valley Daily

LOGAN – Two months after the Logan Historic Preservation Committee voted down a request by Logan City leaders to demolish the Emporium, alternate plans for redeveloping the site are ready to be presented to the public.

“We are really excited about these refined plans and I think people are going to like what they see,” said Mayor Holly Daines, who will present the new plans to the public and city councilmembers February 18 at 6:15 pm in the Logan Municipal council chambers.

In addition, presentations will be made by downtown business owners Eugene Needham III, George Daines and contractor Tony Johnson.

It’s no secret that Needham and Daines are opposed to the Mayor’s idea of demolishing the Emporium and adjacent structures to make room for a proposed public plaza, stage, apartment building and parking structure.

Daines, who is the brother-in-law of the Mayor, has offered to buy the Emporium from the city.

Needham also threw out the idea of buying the old, vacant building with the goal to re-purpose it and bring back retail.

Daines, Needham and Johnson will each get 15 minutes during the Tuesday night meeting to present their vision for the site.

“We’ll get to see some options and we have lots of good information for council,” said Mayor Daines.

The back and forth on ways to revitalize Center Block area has been debated for several years.

After input from the public, business owners and city leaders, developer Dan Lofgren came up with an initial proposal that included the public plaza and apartment building. The plan received mixed reviews after it was unveiled to the public last September.

Modified plans were presented to the HPC in December; however, committee members were uncomfortable giving the city their blessing to tear down buildings to make way for the redevelopment project. Members said the city didn’t meet the established HPC standards for demolition and some worried plans for the site were too fluid.

“That was a valid concern,” said Mayor Daines. “I appreciate that and so we backed off. We are going to come to them with a ready-to-go project before we ask them to reconsider. I think we have addressed a lot of their concerns from a historic angle and we’ll see what they have to say.”

“We’ve really tried to listen and to take all the concerns into consideration to make the project feel even more historic so it fits really well with our historic downtown,” she added. “I understand there is a public process and this process has made the project better.”

The public will not be allowed to comment after the presentations on Tuesday. A public hearing on the new proposals will be held March 3, 2020.

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