Relocations make room for Layton businesses

Apr 4 2011 - 11:19pm

LAYTON -- If business relocation is like a chess match, then the game started by Bed Bath & Beyond near the end of 2010 is about to get a few more players.

On Friday, the rent-to-own store Aaron's moved from the same development area that used to be the home of Bed Bath & Beyond to its new location near Layton Hills Mall. Now, the shopping center on the southeast corner of Main Street and Hill Field Road is about to get three new tenants.

"It will be really good and will really update the area and change the look," said Cindy Cobbley, project manager at The Thackery Company.

Cobbley said she cannot say which businesses will move into the shopping center; however, an announcement should come in May.

"We're pretty close, but there are some issues still," Cobbley said. "It's kind of a logjam. When that breaks, we'll have a lot to announce."

The new tenants will replace Bed Bath & Beyond, Aaron's and The Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, which closed in September. Cobbley said a restaurant will move into the former Lone Star building.

Aaron's, now located at 423 W. 1425 North, moved for a couple of reasons, said John McCain, store assistant manager.

"We were looking to better serve our customers, making it easier for them to get to us. And we've expanded our showroom and warehouse," McCain said.

The entrance into the shopping center on the southeast corner of Main Street and Hill Field Road is a difficult one for customers to enter because there is only one entrance/exit, McCain said.

Giving the customers a better experience is also a reason cited by Bed Bath & Beyond, now located in the Harris Pointe development off Antelope Drive, for its move.

"Bed Bath & Beyond strives to always put our best foot forward for our customers," said Catherine Gentile, public relations manager for the company. "In order to provide a fresh face and enhanced shopping experience, we chose to relocate the store versus doing an open store renovation and risk disrupting our customers' shopping experience. It's really a win-win for BBB and our customers -- we accomplish our goal of enhancing their shopping experience, and they can enjoy shopping in a fresh, new store."

While these types of moves may benefit the relocating business, they sometimes cause problems for the city. Vacant buildings are often eyesores, especially when they are big buildings like the ones left vacant by Ultimate Electronics, at 879 W. Hill Field Road, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

"This is a time when a city really has to take its hands off and let each business and each developer decide what is in its best interest," said Ben Hart, Layton's economic development specialist.

"We want to see the economy grow, and we feel by supporting a free market and letting these businesses do what's best for them helps the market grow."

As the chess match continues, Hart expects more players to join as other businesses make moves into already vacant buildings or buildings soon to need new tenants.

"There's more to come," Hart said. "This is not over, and we'll continue to see this throughout the next year, year and a half."

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