Retailer Ranch & Home no longer expects to meet a Jan. 1 deadline for opening, but the Hermiston city council will discuss a recommendation Monday to still offer $107,800 in incentives if the store opens its doors by a new deadline of March 1, 2018.
In January the council approved a deal with the outdoor lifestyle retailer, which already has locations in the Tri-Cities and Milton-Freewater, to reimburse the company for its building permit, system development charges and $10,000 of water and sewer extensions — a package worth an estimated $107,800 — if it gained its occupancy permit by Jan 1. 2018.
The city would also reimburse the company $185,000 for road improvements on the northeast side of the property if the company convinced a grocery store of at least 25,000 square feet to build on the property by Oct. 1, 2018. Both incentives would be reduced by 10 percent each month the company did not meet the deadline, for up to six months.
City Manager Byron Smith announced at the Oct. 9 city council meeting that he had met with Ranch & Home owner George Dress, who told him that problems in getting subcontractors had slowed the construction process and the store would likely not open until February or March. A memo to the city council in the Oct. 23 agenda packet also stated that Ranch & Home was working on “a couple of options” for trying to recruit a grocery store but that things have been “progressing slowly.”
The memo from Smith recommends that the council amend the agreement with Ranch & Home to move the deadline for occupancy to March 1, 2018 and the deadline for recruiting a grocery store to Oct. 1, 2019.
Ranch & Home is currently under construction on south Highway 395 next to Hermiston Foods.
The council will discuss amending the agreement during its meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday at city hall, 180 NE Second St. in Hermiston.
Contact Jade McDowell at email@example.com or 541-564-4536.