A new Shopko store could be open in Neligh by the middle of November and create 20 new jobs, but the project will not become reality without assistance from the City of Neligh.
Oppidan, the developer working to build the new Shopko Hometown store, has officially applied for tax increment financing (TIF) through the City of Neligh, according to Economic Development Director Greg Ptacek. The financing requested is not a grant; it is from funds that will be repaid through property taxes collected over 15 years.
One of the stipulations of using TIF is that the project would not move forward without the assistance.
Shopko Hometown, which would begin construction near April 15, would be located just off Highway 14 on Wylie Drive or across from Fred Penn Park. Tom Ryan, developer with Oppidan, spoke to the economic development board about the project during Monday's meeting. Board president Terry Jensen asked if Shopko would put a pharmacy in the Neligh location.
Ryan said there will be a pharmacy component build into the structure, but he said it’s up to Shopko to decide if one will be included. He said of the last five stores Oppidan built, only one has a pharmacy. “Typically what they like to do is get a sense of the local community and if there is a local pharmacist in town, they like to either partner with them or decide it’s not viable for them,” he said. “I can’t say one way or the other 100 percent.”
Jensen said he’s heard concerns about adding a pharmacy since there are already two in Neligh. “I don’t think adding a third would be an option for them, just speaking from what I know of their model,” Ryan said.
According to the application, the financing of $525,000 would assist with the creation of site excavation, land acquisition and other costs associated with the site preparation for the 17,500 square foot retailer.
A public hearing has been set for March 7 to discuss the project.