Our View: Our city is worth investing in
January 10, 2018
As Green River continues to face economic challenges, we’re happy to see people still believe in establishing businesses in the city.
Last week, the Green River City Council approved a liquor license for the Town Bar and Grill, a restaurant aiming to open up downtown on Railroad Avenue. Work continues on a Taco Bell location near the old Sweetwater Ford building and O’Reilly Auto Parts shop. Of course there’s the ongoing renovations at the Tomahawk Building too, which we believe will ultimately create a economic beacon in downtown Green River.
Green River is worth investing in and people are showing their belief in the city. This is positive momentum residents are seeing and we want to see it continue. Green River does have a lot of amenities Rock Springs doesn’t have. The obvious of course being the river and the city’s numerous parks, but there’s more here that could be of interest to more business-minded people.
Downtown Green River is primed to be a major commercial hot spot like it was years ago. One of the two anchors that will drive people to visit downtown Green River is the Tomahawk. Once the building is ready, it will be able to host a wide range of businesses, both professional and commercial. The second anchor point is the more difficult proposition to address, the U.P. Depot building. That will be a longer term project with the building under city ownership. Considering the boom times are gone and tax revenues and now lower than they were a decade ago, waiting for the city to renovate the building could take a decade or more.
The city has much more pressing matters to attend to, such as the need for a new wastewater treatment system, that the depot will be overshadowed by those needs.
The best bet for any renovation and development within the building is to somehow attract an angel investing group to take over the building and renovate and develop the nearby land. That group could then charge rent for the property, making its investment back through the rent.
This would be asking a lot of an investor, as the current method is to make an investment back as soon as possible.
This hypothetical investor would need to be patient and committed to Green River for more than a couple of years.
However, as others are showing, Green River is worth investing in, even if the return is years away.