Dan's Foods will be the new anchor tenant at the Olympus Hills Mall, 3536 E. 3900 S., says Richard L. Skankey, owner and managing partner of the center.
Olympus Hills officials sued Smith's Food & Drug a year ago this month, accusing Smith's officials of breaking the terms of their lease agreement by relocating their supermarket operation a few miles north of the center.In place of the former food and drug store, Smith's opened a warehouse box store, which Olympus Hills alleged was a breach of contract and an attempt to prevent competition.
A 3rd District Court jury decided in November that Smith's had breached its lease agreement and ordered the company to pay nearly $200,000 in fines. Smith's has appealed the decision to the Utah Supreme Court.
Skankey declined to comment on Smith's chances of getting the higher court to overturn the decision, but stressed that Olympus now has a non-disturbance agreement with Smith's.
"If Smith's were to prevail, they would not come back and ask for the space," Skankey said.
"We would not have to move out," said Dan Parris, vice president of Dan's Foods, even if Smith's were to eventually win the lawsuit.
Skankey explained that if Smith's were to prevail, it would win a legal ruling of being in the right and also would not be liable for any of the alleged damages it caused other businesses by leaving or for Olympus Hills' legal fees.
The new food store, to be completed by Memorial Day, will occupy 54,500 square feet, or about one-third of the Olympus Hills Center. Dan's has signed a 25-year lease with Olympus and the new operation will be larger than any of the six existing Dan's stores. Interior reconstruction will begin immediately and the new store will be open 24 hours but closed on Sundays.
Stankey expects the new Dan's to help Olympus Hills regain its former vitality by generating additional traffic for the center's other stores. Traffic in the mall has dropped as much as 70 percent since Smith's left, according to one estimate.
Olympus Hills would still like to find one more major retail merchant to occupy a remaining 20,000-square-foot section in the center.