For the sum of $1.65 million, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse Inc. now owns just under 15 acres of Kenai land.
Lowe’s plans to build a 139,000 square-foot retail store on the property along Marathon Road and have the store open for business by Thanksgiving Day next year.
The Kenai City Council authorized the sale of 14.784 acres in the Baron Park Subdivision on Wednesday.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to bring one of our stores to the Kenai community,” said Bart Hollander, director of real estate acquisition for Lowe’s.
Hollander said the company hopes to close on the transaction by mid-January, have a building permit in early spring, begin construction in April and open before the 2007 holiday season.
Initial plans call for Lowe’s to build a 139,000-square-foot store and 32,000-square-foot garden center across Marathon Road from a planned Wal-Mart Super Center.
Lowe’s had originally applied to lease the property, which borders the Homer Electric Association access road on the north, three privately owned vacant lots on Airport Way to the west and nine smaller vacant lots to the south.
The company instead decided to buy the land after a change in the city code allowed the purchase.
In a memo to the council, City Attorney Cary Graves said the fair market value of the property as set by a Derry and Associates appraisal is $1,650,000.
Proceeds from the sale will be placed in the Airport Land Sale Permanent Fund.
When the project was first announced in January, the estimated value of the improvement was listed as approximately $15 million, and estimated tax revenue to the city was put at $500,000 annually.
In addition to increasing the size of the Airport Land Sale Trust Fund and adding to the city’s sales and property tax revenue, the project will bring “a significant number of jobs” to Kenai during construction and after the store opens, according to the ordinance passed by the council.
In other business, the council:
· Re-elected Council member Joe Moore as vice mayor;
· Approved an ordinance allowing residential development as secondary use above commercial businesses in the city’s new central mixed use zone;
· Adopted a capital improvement plan priority list to be submitted to the Kenai Peninsula Borough for its priority list that gets sent to the state;
· Added Japonski Drive to a paving project being considered for McCollum and Aliak drives.
The council also set public hearings for Nov. 21 on an ordinance to extend annual dog licenses to three years and an ordinance revising the city code as it applies to the ownership and disposition of general fund land.
Additionally a work session was scheduled for Dec. 5 to consider options for expanding the Kenai Community Library.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek @peninsulaclarion.com.
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