LAYTON - The economic development chief of Davis County’s most populous city wouldn’t be surprised if a couple big-name grocery stores eventually make their way to Layton.
“We get phone calls from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods,” inquiring about possible locations in the city, said Kent Andersen, Layton City Economic Development Specialist
On top of that, grocery chain Winco Foods has renewed interest in a store near the Legacy Parkway interest on the south end of Layton, he said.
Layton Mayor Bob Stevenson has personally been heavily involved in negotiations with the firm, including visits to the Boise, Idaho headquarters.
“Negotiations are going well,” he said. “I feel very positive that something could happen. We’re in constant communication.”
The store originally talked of building on the site of the old Fort Lane Shopping Center several years ago, but then the recession hit.
It would serve as anchor for a multi-store, office complex that city officials have hoped would transform the now area, which is basically cleared of old tenants.
Andersen said sample renderings of what the store might look like have been shared with city officials. Due to lapsed time, the company has to start over on any kind of formal approval process.
“This market, in my opinion, can support a higher-end grocery store,” Andersen said, also mentioning the name of Sprouts. That’s a Chandler, Ariz.-based chain that currently has two stores in Salt Lake County and one in Utah County.
“We’re very strategic” in terms of location, he said. “To me, it’s just a matter of time,” given the area’s growing population and relatively high household incomes.
In the meantime, concrete signs of construction on commercial projects are evident around the city.
For example, an old Goodyear tire and automotive store on east Antelope Drive is being remodeled as a Dunkin’ Donuts, due to open in June.
The old train station just south of the FrontRunner stop near Gentile and Main Streets in the city’s old downtown area also is due to start seeing remodeling. It could house a restaurant and professional offices, Andersen has said in the past.
Just to the north of that FrontRunner stop, Kays Crossing is due to hold a ribbon cutting, hopefully in mid-May. The upper-end one and two-bedroom multi-story apartment complex has been praised as a way to bring more full-time residents into the downtown area.
“A couple of senior citizens were looking at a similar development in Salt Lake City but decided it’s so much less costly in Layton,” Andersen said.
They plan on taking FrontRunner, which is just steps away, when they want to go to Salt Lake.
Legacy Cottages, a development targeting seniors aged 55 and over, is due to break ground shortly. The 150-unit rentals will be built near the Smith’s Food & Drug off of east Gentile Street.
In addition, the Young Automotive Group has acquired property at 416 N. Main to locate a new dealership.
“There are large retailers we’re working with that we can’t announce yet,” Andersen added.