OGDEN — Soon, there will be two empty former grocery stores at the “Five Points” intersection in northern Ogden.
After just over four years in business, the Ridley’s Family Market Wangsgards at 145 N. Harrisville Road is closing. The Jerome, Idaho-based grocery store chain made no formal announcement on the Ogden site’s pending closure, but inside the store many shelves are bare and signs advertising liquidation sales can be seen.
An employee who works at the store, but did not want to be identified, said the plan is to shutter the business by Feb. 19. Management at the grocery store did not grant permission for the Standard-Examiner to take photos inside the store or talk with employees. Attempts to reach Ridley’s Director of Operations Mark Ridley were unsuccessful.
In late 2015, Ridley’s Family Markets acquired the Wangsgards Market and Bakery franchise at 120 Washington Blvd. A short time later, Ridley’s took the longtime Ogden grocer’s name and moved all Wangsgards operations (which included an ACE hardware store and the Five Points Grill) just to the south, into a building at the Five Points Shopping Plaza that was once occupied by Harmons Grocery.
The 50,000-square-foot property on Washington Boulevard has been vacant since Wangsgards/Ridely’s moved to the building to the west. A similar fate figures to be in store for the soon-to-be-closed Five Points facility.
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said he was disappointed by the news of the closure.
“We’d rather have more grocery options than less,” the mayor said. “And obviously we don’t want two big, vacant buildings there on 2nd Street.”
Caldwell said the Walmart Supercenter — located at 534 N. Harrisville Road in Harrisville and less than a mile north of both grocery sites — has likely had a major impact on the grocery landscape in the northern reaches of Ogden. The Walmart store is 200,000 square feet and sits on 20 acres, according to Weber County property records.
The mayor said while the city has no direct involvement with either of the Five Points grocery properties, officials have discussed the situation. And Caldwell said he wouldn’t rule out eventual city involvement in the area.
The city often creates redevelopment districts to spur growth in areas where it otherwise probably wouldn’t occur. The districts work by freezing the tax valuation for all taxable properties inside an area of land that’s been targeted for reinvestment. For a specified time period or up to a certain dollar amount, future increases in property tax revenue are used in the redevelopment effort, a mechanism called Tax Increment Financing.
The TIF money is offered to developers as an incentive to build and it can be used for things like street and utility improvements, hazardous waste removal, property acquisition and the demolition of blighted buildings.