The Incredible Universe could come with an incredible price tag.
Tandy Corp. officials aren't saying how much they'll spend to build the 185,000-square-foot electronics retail "gigastore," but they are admitting it will cost more than anticipated.Richard Hollander, vice president and general manager for Incredible Universe, said Tuesday the company now realizes it will have to fork over a "significant" amount of additional money to build the store in the damp soil of the city's South Towne area.
The extra money will be spent on upgrading the footings and foundation of the building to give it stability. Those steps are necessary because of an extremely shallow water table in the area, city officials confirmed.
"It's 3 foot below the surface, and that's going to cost us some extra money," Hollander said of the water table.
The company missed its scheduled April 6 groundbreaking, but Hollander said crews should start construction any day now. He said the store, to be built on 17 acres of leased land south of 11000 South near I-15, would definitely open before Thanksgiving.
Hollander said the company found out about the additional costs after its March 8 announcement but denied it ever had second thoughts about the Sandy site.
"When it came up, we said `Wow,' but it hasn't stopped" the project, he said.
One city official said it cost Sandy about $85,000 to do similar work to stabilize Sandy City Hall but said the water table in that location is not as high as it is where the Incredible Universe is to be built.
Byron Jorgenson, the city's chief administrative officer, confirmed that the water table has been problematic in the South Towne area.
"We had to build concrete roads down there," Jorgenson said. "At first we started putting in an asphalt road and it started buckling. In all of that area, asphalt roads can be a challenge."
Incredible Universe is expected to generate between $60 million and $80 million in gross sales annually, which would put about $600,000 in sales-tax revenue into the city's coffers each year.
Company officials say the Sandy store could attract as many as 1 million people each year, about 10 percent of whom will come from more than 100 miles away.