Musician Kanye West isn’t just buying a ranch in the Cody area: He’s also in the process of purchasing a commercial property on Cody’s east end — and bigger plans may be in …
Musician Kanye West isn’t just buying a ranch in the Cody area: He’s also in the process of purchasing a commercial property on Cody’s east end — and bigger plans may be in the works.
West is reportedly under contract to purchase a 3.76-acre parcel of land on Big Horn Avenue that has housed Mountain Equipment, which rents and sells construction equipment. The property includes a 4,800 square foot metal building and plans are underway to add a temporary, 4,800 square foot building for storage.
The tent-like structure “will apparently serve as temporary storage of materials and merchandise related to the apparel and music business that will be conducted out of the existing [metal] building,” Cody City Planner Todd Stowell wrote in a Friday staff report. The new storage building will be in place for up to six months — “until a new facility is located or constructed,” Stowell wrote.
John Skolnick, a Los Angeles-based contractor who’s helping with the project, downplayed its significance in a Friday interview.
“He [West] does a lot of really, really interesting things for the community, but this is not it,” Skolnick said with a laugh. “This is what it is.”
However, he did offer that “there will be more exciting things coming up.”
West has been a relatively frequent presence in the Cody area since the summer, when he reportedly bought the sprawling Monster Lake Ranch south of Cody. The purchase pushed the Cody area into celebrity news circles; for example, West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, shared a photo of the ranch and praised Wyoming’s beauty in an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Then in late September, just weeks after his ranch purchase hit the news, West hosted one of his famed “Sunday Services” at the Buffalo Bill Center of West, drawing in thousands for a unique gospel worship service that featured dozens of musicians.
Days after that performance, Forward Cody CEO James Klessens indicated that West had other plans for Cody.
“There’s other things going on ... and I can’t tell you about any of those, but there’s other things that they have in the works,” Klessens said in a Sept. 26 appearance on KODI-AM’s Speak Your Piece talk show. He said West had “a whole fleet of people” busily working in Cody.
Klessens also said that West should be treated like any other newcomer and not hounded, “because he came here to enjoy a little quiet.”
“When they need help, I’m going to help them — like I do any other business,” he said on KODI. “I’m not going to spend a lot of time beating down their door trying to make something happen.”
Cody’s Planning, Zoning and Adjustment Board is set to review West’s plans for the temporary storage structure at a meeting today (Tuesday). Planner Stowell indicated in his staff report that city officials are not overly concerned with the proposal.
“Staff is not convinced that the tent-like structure is architecturally compatible with that of surrounding developments, yet being lenient to the extent of effectively waiving the ‘architecturally compatible’ requirement for this temporary structure seems entirely reasonable,” he wrote, adding that “the requirement for full architectural compatibility would undermine the intent of the quick, temporary storage solution that will only be in place until a permanent building is available.”
The pending purchase of 3202 Big Horn Avenue is technically being made through a newly formed limited liability company called Psalm Cody Commercial, according to the staff report. State business records show only that the company was organized by a Los Angeles attorney, but city officials’ understanding is that West is behind the project.
The agreed upon sales price is unknown, as that information is not a matter of public record in Wyoming.
The property had been listed for $1.15 million, while the Park County Assessor’s Office most recently estimated its market value at $649,072.