Economy slowing development of Layton WinCo

Oct 19 2011 - 10:36pm

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All that has changed on the WinCo site in Layton is the construction of a power box. Because of economic conditions, WinCo has held off on construction and its officials are seeking a six-month extension on the company’s conditional-use permit. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)
The lot for WinCo in Layton, near Interstate 15, still sits vacant because of the economy, company officals say. They have asked the city for an six-month extension on the company's conditional-use permit. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)
All that has changed on the WinCo site in Layton is the construction of a power box. Because of economic conditions, WinCo has held off on construction and its officials are seeking a six-month extension on the company’s conditional-use permit. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)
The lot for WinCo in Layton, near Interstate 15, still sits vacant because of the economy, company officals say. They have asked the city for an six-month extension on the company's conditional-use permit. (MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner)

LAYTON -- The empty field on the southwest corner of Gentile Street and Fort Lane Village will not be changing anytime soon.

WinCo Foods is seeking an extension of its nearly year-old conditional-use permit.

"We like the site and have from the outset, but the economic conditions are such that we're not ready to move forward," said Mike Read, vice president of public and legal affairs for WinCo Foods.

The planning commission will receive the letter seeking the extension on Oct. 25 and is expected to grant a six-month extension.

Bill Wright, the city's community and economic development director, said he's not surprised by the request because the original conditional-use permit was approved on Oct. 26, 2010.

The approval is good for one year, and during that time, WinCo either had to start the construction process -- by at least filing for a building permit -- or request a one-time, six-month extension.

"(Next) April, they would either need to begin filing for a building permit or they would lose that (conditional-use) approval and have to go through the process again," Wright said.

The plan was to begin construction of the Layton store last spring. Read said the economic conditions that are stopping the construction are not solely related to WinCo Foods.

"It's more of a general reflection of economic times. We've pulled back in development overall. We still have plans to grow. We're still growing, just at a bit measured pace."

City officials are trying to remain positive.

"It's very unfortunate, but yet we're still excited at WinCo's commitment to Layton city," said Mayor Steve Curtis. "We look forward to working with them."

The 94,682-square-foot WinCo Foods store is part of the 22-acre Fort Lane Village, a commercial-retail center being developed at 144 S. Fort Lane and Gentile Street.

City officials expect to get more tenants for the development once WinCo Foods moves forward; however, they are hoping to land some new businesses before WinCo Foods begins construction.

"Zions Bank decided to go forward without WinCo being on the ground," Wright said. "There might be other tenants that decide to go forward."

WinCo opened stores in Roy and Ogden last year. Boise-based WinCo also has locations in Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington.

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