That’s when Bountiful commercial property owner John Hepworth and local developer Brian Knowlton first unveiled plans for two three-story retail/residential buildings for the north and southwest corners of 100 South and Main Street, here.
A European flair is included in the project, which was designed with particularly French accents by Bountiful architect Tom Smith, who traveled to France for inspiration.
“They signed the trust deed that secures the loan that the (Bountiful) RDA (Redevelopment Agency) approved,” said Bountiful City Planner Aric Jensen, Monday.
The RDA is providing loans totaling $1 million, with $560,000 being released for the first phase, to be built on the south side of 100 South, and the remainder to be released for the north side, possibly by late winter.
“We actually believe we’re going to break ground on Friday,” said Knowlton, noting it might be Monday or early next week at the latest.
“All the pieces of the project have fallen into place,” he said, adding that “the timing is really good with the interest we’re seeing on Main Street for the commercial space. We’ve started our pre-leasing.”
Plans call for retail/office space on the street level, and spacious two-bedroom apartments, with such amenities as a den and state-of-the-art kitchen to be built on the two upper floors. After setbacks due to financing and other issues, Hepworth was upbeat in his comments to the Clipper late Wednesday morning.
“We’ve gone through a lot of the economics of everything happening. I think the timing is just right,” he agreed. “Bountiful sits with the greatest potential of any Main Street we have in the state.”
He cited demographics and closeness to “the hub of Utah” as being pluses, aided further by mountain and Bountiful Tabernacle views that will be offered from the apartments.
“I think it really has the potential of turning into a neat little Main Street. It’s the only Main Street in Utah that can be a classic main street that is outside of a resort town,” Hepworth said. “Hopefully this will be contagious for a lot of things to come.”
Of current economic conditions, he said “I think we’ve got enough confidence, things are improving. I think we’ve got a formula that we can really be competitive with lease rates for specialty shops.
“We’ve had a few calls, with some chefs that have shown interest in doing some specialty food service,” he said. “I think the community will be able to be very proud of their downtown.”
“I’m pretty excited if it’s a go,” said City Council member Tom Tolman. “That would really put some spirit into downtown, move things forward. I think it will be a very added attraction, something we deserve and need.”
Knowlton said plans call for the section north of 100 South to be started in February.
“The nice thing about this it gives Bountiful Main Street the identity that we’re hoping to see it evolve into,” he added. “They will be kind of cornerstones for Main Street.”