Kate Neeley, contributing writer
You’ve totally done it. You’re out on a Saturday driving down Logan Main Street and your friend in the passenger seat says, “Did you hear they’re gonna put a Target in Logan!?” And you’re like, “No way! I would LOVE a Target in Logan!” Or maybe you’re scrolling Facebook and someone posts news that a Trader Joe’s is going to be moving into the vacant Shopko building and the comments are rolling in like nobody’s business — and that’s the thing. A lot of these types of rumors are made up and passed around and the truth is, every business move in and move out is SOMEBODY’S business, but if you want to get your facts straight, don’t just believe every hearsay that blows your way.
First up, ask yourself this question: Who are “they” anyway? Who REALLY knows what businesses are coming and going in Logan? Kirk Jensen, economic development director for Logan, spends his days working with people and business plans to help keep the community growing and thriving. So, he’s in the know — for the most part. Even with his constant vigilance over what comes and goes in Cache Valley, there are some answers he simply doesn’t have yet. These sorts of decisions take time, especially during a global pandemic.
In the past year, it is no secret that COVID has impacted the global and local economy in a big way. Logan has seen changes and halts on businesses over the past year unprecedented in recent history. According to Kirk, “the internet has changed things for traditional retailers,” which has caused many businesses to find innovative ways of functioning in a changing community. The good news is, he says, that some of these changes haven’t killed all growth. “It’s really about optimism.” In spite of some big challenges in the local economic community, growth and positive change has and will continue to come about in Logan.
From grocery pickup to the Disneyland-esque efficiency of the new Chick-fil-A drive thru line, Logan certainly is seeing big changes. Seeing Shopko close its doors in 2020 was a sad day for many in the community, however, having the vacant parking lot has been providential for allowing that line of cars to function for the time being while dine-in is not an option for the Chick-fil-A sauce lovers in Cache Valley.
At this point, perhaps you’re on the edge of your seat, so here’s a rundown of some true facts about some of the businesses coming to Logan:
In the old Shopko Building on 1400 North and Main in Logan, construction is underway for a WinCo grocery store, a place that is unique for its massive supply of bulk foods. “Workers have been gutting the building to give it a new floor and new electrical wiring to get ready to open up,” Kirk said.
Any In-N-Out Burger lovers in the Valley? Well, it’s time to get excited because there are confirmed plans for one going in at a central location in our community.
“It’s all been through the city planning commission and won’t be too much longer before construction begins,” Kirk said.
The location for the new In-N-Out is the vacant lot where there used to be a gas station and car wash on the northeast corner of 400 North and Main, near Juniper Take Out.
Right across from the beloved Logan Tabernacle on Main Street, the Emporium, as it’s been known for many years, past home of The Copper Mill restaurant, will soon be knocked down to make way for a public plaza. According to Kirk, this plaza will include, “a skating rink, a stage, some green space, and a splash pad,” and will likely be a location for small-scale concerts and local productions in coming years.
A few more business plans in question can’t be fully confirmed, and all the details will continue to come to fruition, however you might be interested to know about some of these up-and-coming changes:
On South Main Street, where Adam’s Wealth Advisors is located, construction for three or four commercial buildings was planned to move forward in early 2020, however the impact of the pandemic on the community halted that for a time, but it is now back on the radar. Kirk can’t say what businesses will fill those buildings as of now, but “plans are moving forward in the next few years.”
There are some brand-new vacant spaces in three new commercial buildings near the Marriott and new Springhill Suites. Hopefully with dropping COVID case numbers and rising optimism, some businesses will fill those spaces soon.
There are some vacant stores in the Cache Valley Mall; what used to be JCPenney and Herbergers are still waiting to be filled. The Herbergers area has been leased to temporary business users like Spirit Halloween seasonally.
There have been plans discussed for the mall location of Cal Ranch to be moved to the old Kmart building at 1750 North Main, which has now stood vacant for years.
And Target? Yes, there is a conversation that there MIGHT be a smaller scale Target going into the vacant Macey’s 400 North location, but according to Kirk, plans have not been confirmed. The owners of that building are actively looking for tenants after Vasa Fitness halted plans to fill that space due to COVID’s impact on the fitness industry. Target might be one of their targets, but not the only one.
Keep your eyes open, but maybe don’t claim that you know yet. If 2020 taught you anything, learning to expect the unexpected should be one of them.
As 2021 continues to march forward, there is a hopeful feeling in the air. Resilience is winning on numerous levels in the economic community. Despite some hard hits this past year, growth keeps making its way to Cache Valley