RIVERDALE — Change is in the works along Riverdale’s busy commercial thoroughfare.
The old Best Buy building on Riverdale Road, largely vacant for many years, is coming down to make way for new development, most likely food and drink outlets, including a new Dutch Bros Coffee location.
On a vacant plot right across the street, meanwhile, three new restaurants will be taking shape — Raising Cane’s, Cafe Rio and Mo’ Bettahs, according to Riverdale officials. They’ll be developed on the vacant plot northeast of the Krispy Kreme location there.
A bit to the southwest, Harbor Freight, the discount tool retailer, is set to open a new location in the old Crown Bedrooms building at 880 W. Riverdale Road. Five Below, a retailer that sells items generally priced at or below $5, will be taking over the space formerly occupied by Pier 1 Imports in the 1000 block of West Riverdale Road.
“I think what’s going on is pretty significant,” said Mike Eggett, community development director for Riverdale.
The area around the old Best Buy site and where the three new restaurants are coming, in particular, “is going through quite a renaissance in its own right,” he said. A relatively new Starbucks is operating nearby at 4104 Riverdale Road, where Riverdale Road meets 300 West. Moreover, Eggett said plans are afoot to expand the Greenhill at Riverdale apartment complex at 4189 S. 300 West.
Demolition of the ex-Best Buy structure, east of the Riverdale Lowe’s, started last year and is winding down. Riverdale Center North, based in Los Angeles, California, owns the site, which includes an abutting structure housing several other units, also to be demolished.
Steven Usdan, the Riverdale Center North managing partner, said reps from Dutch Bros Coffee, which offers hot and cold drinks, have inked a lease to build and operate a new outlet at the site. He’s in talks with several “quick-serve restaurants,” including one that offers chicken products, to also open new locations at the site.
He hopes to build the new Dutch Bros location as soon as possible and, likewise, develop the rest of the site as deals are finalized. He envisions smaller stand-alone structures, not a single large building.
“Basically the existing retail box did not meet the needs of customers and retailers or it would have been filled,” Usdan said. Riverdale Center North owns several other sites along Riverdale Road.
Riverdale City Manager Bill Cobabe said the portion of the structure where Best Buy once operated has been largely vacant for nearly 10 years, though a seasonal Halloween-themed store has operated in it at times. Accordingly, city officials are looking forward to new development. “We’re excited to see something going in on the property,” Cobabe said.
Best Buy in Riverdale now operates out of a building at 1093 W. Riverdale Road.
As for the three new restaurants across from the ex-Best Buy, Eggett said the Riverdale City Council is tentatively scheduled to consider the formal plans for the development of the land where they’ll sit on Jan. 19. He foresees work, to be handled by DRH Co., beginning by March or April.
The three eateries will occupy separate, stand-alone buildings on the 2.5-acre plot northeast of Krispy Kreme. Cafe Rio, a Mexican eatery, will move from its location near the Riverdale Road and Wall Avenue intersection to relocate to the new location at 4194 W. Riverdale Road, Eggett said. The Mo’ Bettahs location will represent an expansion in the area of the chain, which offers Hawaiian-style food and now operates in Ogden. Raising Cane’s move to Riverdale is part of the chain’s expansion into Utah.
“They’re excited to be here. They’re emerging in Utah and this is one of their emerging locations,” Eggett said. Raising Cane’s signature food item is chicken fingers.
Harbor Freight will rehab the old Crown Bedrooms building as part of its move to Riverdale, and Eggett said the building permit for the work is ready. The efforts to spruce up the building can being as soon as Harbor Freight reps pick up the permit. Harbor Freight also has a location in Ogden.