RIVERDALE — Concrete walls now mark the footprint for the 55,000-square-foot Hobby Lobby taking shape near 801 W. Riverdale Road.
As early as July, Hobby Lobby, along with a host of other retailers, could begin drawing customers to the Riverdale Town Square nestled north of Walmart Supercenter, west of Tony Divino Toyota, and east of the Maverik Gas Station/Convenience store at 899 W. Riverdale Rd.
“Hobby Lobby is an awfully good tenant,” said Homer Cutrubus, who with his brother Phidia Cutrubus owns significant property between 700 and 900 West on Riverdale Road. “They have a large business that fits into the project, and we thought it was a good fit because of the integrity and quality of the company.”
Bob Miller, communications coordinator for Hobby Lobby, said a hard date for the store’s grand opening is still uncertain due to so many moving parts. But once an opening date is set, Miller said a hiring event will be planned, with details posted on the Hobby Lobby website.
The Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts retailer owns more than 750 such stores in 47 states, and founders David and Barbara Green initially launched the business in 1972 with a leap of faith. According to the company’s website, one of its core tenets includes “honoring the Lord in all we do by operating in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”
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For workers and customers, that fundamental belief means never opening on a Sunday, paying a living wage, and perhaps the most controversial piece — not including contraceptives in their employee health coverage.
In a landmark June 2014 decision, U.S. Supreme Court Justices sided 5-4 with Hobby Lobby’s right as a family-owned corporation that runs on religious principles to not cover birth control drugs and devices as required under the Affordable Care Act.
The new store is expected to bring 35-50 jobs to the community, Miller said, with full-time associates earning $15.70 per hour and part-time workers $10.45.
Mike Eggett, community development director for Riverdale City, said the Habit Burger Grill has also obtained a permit for one of the new Town Square storefronts. With 10 restaurants in Arizona, 144 in California and many more across the country, Riverdale’s will become Utah’s 10th location to “find your Habit.”
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All together, Cutrubus said they’re developing 110,000 square feet of commercial space. City documents list other potential clients as AT & T Wireless, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Mod Pizza and Zao Asian Cafe.
“We’re working through leases as we speak,” Cutrubus said, adding that he and Phidia remain strong in the automobile business, and also own hotels in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Bozeman (Montana) and Cortez (Colorado).
“This is a pretty big project,” Eggett said of Riverdale Town Square. “I’m sure it will evolve quite a bit in the next few months.”