LAYTON -- A big hole in Layton will soon be filled -- literally.
People driving on West Gentile Street, for the past few years, likely noticed the big hole across the street from Layton Elementary School. That hole, which was dug when the building sitting there was removed in September 2009, will be filled soon with the arrival of a new medical office building.
The news could not be better for Ben Hart, Layton's economic development specialist, and not just because he will be glad to see the hole filled.
The new building will join a new medical complex -- on the opposite side of town -- as a pair of new additions to a city that has not had such growth in a while.
"I think office building has been slow in Davis County and Utah, and to see two large medical offices being built here is exciting," Hart said. "It means there is still life and still businesses that need office space."
Construction of the new medical office building, at approximately 325 W. Gentile St., just west of Main Street, will begin shortly with the hope that tenants will move in before 2012.
"We are just about finished with site-plan approvals with the city," said Brad Lasater, an agent with NAI West.
He said he is not yet allowed to name the "three or four" occupants who have signed letters of intent to move into the building. However, he said they are recognizable to Layton residents.
The first occupant should move in during the first part of December.
"All the building and landscaping will be done in the summer, but the real hard work will be done before Christmas," Lasater said.
On the other side of town, two 25,000-square-foot buildings are already under construction at Highway 193 and Church Street, with the first occupants scheduled to move in by early October.
Matt Gertge, a general contractor with Elk Valley Construction who is also a part owner in the Layton Medical Complex, said Layton Family Medicine will have a family practice in the complex.
He also said Ogden Regional Medical Center will occupy a good share of space for speciality clinics, Mountain Land Physical Therapy will have an office in one of the buildings, and there will be a new pharmacy on site.
Space is still available, Gertge said. And he admits it has been a little more difficult to fill the space than it has been in the past.
"Now, with this economy, it's tougher to get them to commit," Gertge said. "The interest is out there, but getting people to commit and take that first step is more difficult than it used to be."
Gertge said that, compared with other cities Elk Valley Construction has dealt with, Layton has fared well during the last few years of the down economy. He hopes the medical complex will benefit the city even more.
"We feel this creates a little bit of a buzz," Gertge said. "This will be a full medical complex, and we hope that it will really catch on and expand and create some buzz up there in east Layton."