Major new mixed-use redevelopment of old Hitching Post site has begun
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) - Banner Capital Bank, The Mayor’s Office of The City of Cheyenne, and Swagger Construction, today announced at a joint press conference a major new redevelopment on Cheyenne’s west end on the property that was the former Hitching Post.
This property has been purchased by Swagger Construction, now the developer of the site newly named the “Hitching Post Plaza.”
Located at 1600 W. Lincolnway in Cheyenne, Hitching Post Plaza is planned to contain retail, dining, residential and hotel. Demolition and environmental remediation is going on now, with the first bricks broken last week by the developer, the bank, and Mayor Patrick Collins swinging the first sledgehammer. The project was brought forward via the cooperative effort of Swagger Construction, Banner Capital Bank, and the City of Cheyenne.
The genesis of the project was the vision of Robert Chamberlin, President of Swagger Construction, on how to best redevelop the site and provide a major catalyst for improvement of the entire West Lincolnway Corridor.
Chamberlin presented the concept to Richard Braithwaite at Banner Capital Bank, who recognized the project would benefit from a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) due to the large amount of public infrastructure improvement needed to move forward. Earlier this year, the bank and developer then approached the City of Cheyenne about establishing the TIF District, to include the site and surrounding areas, for this and adjacent development opportunities.
The project was a culmination of much work by all the members of the Cheyenne City Council, who unanimously agreed, back in January, that redevelopment of the old Hitching Post property was a top priority. The council worked with the City, and the Urban Renewal Authority Board to create an Urban Renewal Authority, which made the property more attractive for outside investment. A city ordinance was then passed by the council, which created the TIF District.
Today, the project is inside that newly ordinance-created City of Cheyenne TIF District, which contains about 80 acres in the vicinity and including this development. TIF’s are used by cities to improve infrastructure and boost economic development. A city sets aside a portion of property taxes in a given area (the TIF District) and uses those funds to subsidize street, sewers, and infrastructure improvements as is the case with this project. Once an area has been designated as a TIF district, property values are assessed to create a baseline. That value is set for a period of time, and any increase in property tax revenue over time is sent to a separate account for projects in the district. That investment spurs economic activity and increased TIF revenue going forward.
TIF projects are usually financed by bonds or commercial bank loans. For this project, Banner Capital Bank is providing the financing for the TIF portion of the project – approximately $1.5-million. This is the second time the city has created a TIF for a downtown project. The DDA was funded by incremental financing until Black Hills Energy moved its headquarters out of downtown a few years ago.
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