LAYTON -- Now is not the season to construct new buildings, but it is the beginning of the busiest time for those who plan to do so in a few months.
"The most important part of the year to be able to construct in May, June and July is really January, February and March, where you've got to get everything ready," said Ben Hart, Layton's economic development specialist.
Five major projects are in line to begin building this spring, and Hart said all five are moving on schedule.
WinCo Foods is planning to build a 94,682-square-foot store as part of the 22-acre Fort Lane Village, a retail center being developed at 144 S. Fort Lane and Gentile Street.
"There's a number of things you've got to do to get ready to build, and WinCo is one that has already been through a number of those steps," Hart said.
"They've gotten their conditional-use permit, they've already been through the subdivision process, so they're well on their way to building in the spring if they choose to."
Fast-food restaurants Chick-fil-A and In-N-Out Burger have also begun the process of submitting all of their plans, and while they have more to do, both could begin construction in the spring.
Chick-fil-A will build its new restaurant at the site of the former home of Fazoli's, at 651 W. Antelope Drive.
In-N-Out Burger will be on the southwest corner of the Reams property on Gordon Avenue and Main Street.
The first of the new arrivals to build will be Dick's Sporting Goods, which announced last week that it would be coming to Layton Hills Mall.
Hart said Dick's Sporting Goods has submitted its plans to renovate the first floor of the former Mervyns store in the mall and should begin construction this month.
"The plans have all been reviewed on that, and it's real close. In fact, they just submitted the rest of the building permit (on Tuesday) to pay for that, so that one should kick off real quick," said Paul Bauer, Layton's manager of building and licensing services.
Bauer said some work will be done on the outside of the mall because Dick's Sporting Goods will change the facade and close off the east and west entrances.
Inside, the two-floor store vacated by Mervyns will be separated into two independent spaces, with the escalators and elevator being removed.
Hart said construction on Kays Crossing, a transit-oriented development project adjacent to Layton's FrontRunner station, could begin by mid- to late summer.
That project will be a five-story building with 2,400 square feet of retail and 3,000 square feet of office space on the ground level and four levels of multifamily apartments.
"We've been fortunate here in the city that our commercial activity has been steady for quite a few years," Bauer said. "But I would say what's coming up probably will be more busy than we typically are with our commercial permits."
That busy time has already begun.
"Now is certainly where it gets busier as people start to think about building during this construction period, and hopefully these next couple of months will be a very good indicator of where the economy is and how comfortable people are building again," Hart said.
But it isn't all about building.
Layton's economic development and building departments are also on the lookout for new tenants, with East Gate, a future industrial/business park adjacent to the east border of Hill Air Force Base, at the top of the list.
While construction is already under way for the building that will be home to Janicki Industries, more buildings will be built that will need tenants.
"From the city's standpoint, we're certainly doing everything we can to try and bring in more tenants," Hart said.
"This is a time when we try to proactively get out and see who's looking and try and get them to look at the East Gate site."