Sunday, June 13, 2010

Plan would turn Geneva site into urban area

The Geneva Urban Renewal Project Area Plan would remediate 2,055 acres — most of them at the former Geneva Steel site — for commercial, industrial and residential development. The plan spans 40 years and includes three lake activity areas, several new roads, an intermodal hub, 11.1 million square feet of commercial development and enough residential zoning to build more than 7,500 homes.

The development is projected to raise property values to as much as four times the amount they were when the Geneva Steel was in operation and expand the town's tax base by attracting new businesses.

Vineyard and Anderson Geneva LLC, which owns most of the project area, worked together to create a plan for development that reflected the wants of both the community and the company.

Before any development happens, however, the project area must be cleaned up. While some portions of the Geneva site have been remediated and even developed, much of the area has not. Some deteriorating steel structures remain on the property, and much of the land is heavily contaminated.

Anderson Geneva estimates it will cost between $100 million and $300 million to remediate the site, depending on how the land is zoned. The plan's budget calls for $300 million, which will go toward building infrastructure, helping property owners remediate as much land as possible and providing tax incentives to businesses.

Crane said Vineyard's taxes will not be changed to pay for the project because the plan will be carried out as an urban renewal area. Property owners will initially invest in the land, and as improvements are made, the increase in tax revenue generated at the site will be put back into the development of the project area.

The Deseret News