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City developers look to upgrade Alameda Plaza

City developers look to beautify one Pocatello Plaza

POCATELLO, Idaho - As the new WinCo in Pocatello draws in crowds since it opened its doors in March, the community is another step closer to seeing its neighbor demolished.

That is, the old Albertson's building which has been sitting abandoned and boarded-up since it moved-out in 2005. 

WinCo, which has control over the property, is asking the Pocatello Development Authority to help fund the building's demolition in order to build-in a new structure to help the plaza not look so run-down.

The PDA is working with the city's Planning and Development services in asking the City Council to approve their latest resolution which will allow this demolition as part of an overall urban renewal plan known as the Alameda Plaza Urban Renewal Area.

Planning and Development director Lon Crowell is also the interim executive director of the PDA and said the updated structures will draw-in more businesses to set-up shop, while creating upward of 200 new jobs in the community.

"We only have one tool in Idaho to help people attain those goals in economic development and that happens to urban renewal," Crowell said. "There are a lot of factors involved in the businesses you'd like to see versus the ones that can come. We would like to make it better for the businesses we'd like to see and make it better for them to come to Pocatello."

In fact, Crowell said this sort of urban renewal process is nothing new for the city, and has proven beneficial for its economy over the past years when Costco was brought in along with the renewal of the north Yellowstone area.

The demolition is slated to cost $250,000 and they are proposing $10 million in additional value in construction for the property.

The PDA has already agreed to help fund that up front and with the amount of revenue these new businesses will rake-in, the Tax Increment Financing District would help pay this amount back.

Crowell said the renewal process is a "great tool" that will not require the city to raise taxes for a project such as this.

He also mentioned without the PDA's help in this renewal process, funding for this project could take up to five years to begin. However, now demolition could begin as soon as this upcoming Fall.

Carl's Jr. is scheduled to move into the plaza by spring, while a new Mountain America Credit Union building is already under construction at the shopping center's entrance.

Although talks are underway as to what businesses will be moving into the old Albertson's building, we will not know who they are until the plans are finalized.

Follow Kaitlin on Twitter: @KaitlinLoukides

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