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Lamar Redevelopment Authority Helps Fund Development of Former K-Mart

 

Former Kmart in Lamar

 

Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Director, outlined a funding proposal submitted by Lamar Main Street LLC, aka Gateway Safety Products, which has been manufacturing road flares in Lamar for the past several years. The company plans to expand its operation from its initial manufacturing site, the former Greenstreet Distributing Company on West Poplar Street to the former Kmart Store at 701 North Main Street.

Since Gateway’s beginnings in 2017, they have outgrown their site which manufactures highway safety flares as well as for police and fire departments, towing companies, skiing resorts and trucking companies. They have subsequently purchased the former Kmart building and have estimated improvements at $275,000 to include demolition, installation of a loading dock, electrical work, new LED lighting, HVAC, roof repairs and many other areas needed to improve the facility to meet building codes and to begin their expanded operation.

The Authority approved $25,000 to Lamar Main Street LLC. The work is expected to be completed 180 days from issuance of the funds.  Following the closing of K-Mart the building was converted into a short-lived nightclub known as Senor Hoggs which featured a restaurant, indoor waterfall and a movie screen as well as eventual headquarters for a furniture store, a newspaper, and later, a portion of the building housed craft tables for various vendors.  It has been vacant for the past several years during which time the Community State Bank was constructed on the front portion of the parking lot bordering North Main Street.

In other action, the Authority has developed a written incentive agreement for Cobblestone Development Group, LLC. The Wisconsin developer intends to use the agreement to put together a team of investors.  The incentives cover such areas as the State of Colorado Enhanced Enterprise Zone Credits, Property Tax Rebates, City Sales Tax Rebates, City Utility Cost rebates and work from the City of Lamar and Lamar Light and Power.  The approximate total municipal incentive agreement offered is $1,334,944 as well as the mutually beneficial relationship expected from the agreement.  The Authority took no specific action other than to amend by motion, a portion of the letter pertaining to City Sales Tax Rebates.  The original draft stated, “the City will rebate to Developer 80% of the increase in sales tax receipts generated through the operation of the hotel over five years.  There was considerable discussion on what means would be used to determine when to start assessing the proposed hotel’s sales tax revenue, as once the doors opened for business, revenue would be starting at zero dollars.  Other board members were concerned about the level of impact the new hotel would make on existing motel’s finances and if it wasn’t generating new revenue, it would be adding to its own profits by subtracting from those already in operation.  Despite the discussion, City Administrator, John Sutherland, suggested the incentive letter could serve to be the standard approach to regular business development in Lamar.  “This puts on paper, dollar for dollar, exactly what the city’s various departments are contributing to a new potential business and this can have a beneficial impact for other operations when they consider moving to Lamar,” he explained.  The amendment to the City Sales Tax Rebate now reads, “the City will rebate to Developer UP TO 80% of the increase.”  The City will continue to refine the incentive agreement and the estimated amounts being offered.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEmploymentFeaturedPublic SafetyTransportationUtilities

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