In June 2009, the Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency (TFURA) bought the former Kruzer's building and the property underneath it for $340,000.
This week, the agency is looking to sell it for $100, but it’s also adding $800,000 in improvements, including parking, some green space, curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
The sale is part of a deal between TFURA and Uptown Developers, which plans to spend at least $10 million in construction for a headquarters and an innovation center for Glanbia, the largest American-style cheese manufacturer in the United States. The headquarters is expected to be 35,000 square feet and the innovation center is projected to be 14,000 square feet.
When the center is completed in 2013, Glanbia’s 100 workers will occupy the facility and the company plans to add 50 more in time.
One TFURA official admits this project, at a net cost of more than $1 million for his agency, won’t guarantee any new jobs to the city. “Mostly, it will be a transfer,” said TFURA chairman Gary Garnand.
The focus of the project isn’t necessarily new jobs, Garnund said, but rather downtown revitalization.
The property’s sales price is unusual, but the developer says it fits the agency’s method of operations. “It ties in with their whole concept of urban renewal,” said Uptown Developers partner Kent Taylor.
Taylorwouldn’t say if he thought the new building would bring permanent jobs to the community. “I don’t know what their (Glanbia’s) employment plans are,”Taylorsaid. “I’m going to build a building.”
The deal isn’t yet finalized, but will likely be completed Friday in a ceremony featuring Gov. Butch Otter.
Twin Falls isn’t new to giving public money to companies for new buildings. Last year, TFURA and the city teamed up to deliver more than $24 million for land and specialized utility work to bring Greek yogurt manufacturer Chobani to town.
TFURA used debt to finance the improvements for Chobani.