Kanye West’s presence is growing in Cody.
The hip-hop artist turned businessman recently purchased five vacant lots off Big Horn Avenue in a transaction between West’s Psalm Cody Commercial and GC Cody, an entity run by Fred Bronnenberg, president of Groathouse Construction.
The properties are on the south side of Big Horn, surrounded by Sherwin Williams and T-O Engineers. Two of the properties sit directly on Big Horn while the remaining three are to the south on 33rd Street. Bordering the southernmost lots is a property owned by Forward Cody.
Ranging in size from 0.86-1.99 acres, each lot is zoned as either commercial vacant or commercial land. Bronnenberg said his company bought the parcels “several” years ago and developed the land, building 33rd Street and servicing utilities from the street to the lots.
Bronnenberg said he does not know what West plans to use the land for and would not comment on the sale price. That piece of information is not public.
All five lots sit inside Cody’s Opportunity Zone, which extends from the east end of Sheridan Avenue east to Powell along the Powell Highway. An opportunity zone is defined as an area with high unemployment, high poverty rates or low per capita income. There are 25 of these zones in Wyoming.
With the passing of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, property owners can defer capital gains taxes for up to 10 years if that money is invested in a business or business property in a designated opportunity zone. The appreciation of that investment will not be taxed for capital gains at the end of the 10 years.
In October, West also purchased the adjoining 3.76-acre Mountain Equipment property and building that sit at 3202 Big Horn. Along with the 4,800-square-foot structure already existing there, West was also given approval by the City of Cody Planning and Zoning Board to erect a 40-foot-by-120-foot temporary storage structure.
An Enterprise reporter stopped by the business in November and it appears West is utilizing the facility for product prototype development and designing related to his Yeezy shoe and clothing company. The company recently posted one dozen Cody-based jobs pertaining to this type of work online and is expected to hit $1.5 billion in sales by the end of 2019.
The deed pertaining to the five lots was filed with the Park County Assessor’s Office on Nov. 22.