Shoppers who love discounts won't have to travel to Orem or Spanish Fork for much longer in order to get in on K mart's "blue light specials."
A K mart discount department store will open next fall in the East Bay Business Center next to Price Savers.K mart, the nation's second largest retailer, plans to build a 86,479-square-foot store with a 5,000-square-foot garden center at 12th South and University Avenue. Construction will begin next spring.
Jim Talbot, president of Sessions Management, general partners with project developer Walt Gasser and Associates, said the Provo store will be the largest K mart prototype built.
"We wanted to make the move to Provo for a long time," he said. "We have looked for ground and are pleased to make the project possible. The store should do very well."
Talbot said the new K mart will bring about 150 part-time jobs to the area.
The store will be the biggest K mart in the county and is expected to do more volume than the other stores, Provo Economic Development Director Gary Golightly said.
"We don't think it will even affect the other stores," he said. "K mart has had a very good experience in Utah."
Mayor Joe Jenkins said the K mart announcement begins Phase 2 of commercial development in East Bay. Phase 1 began with Price Savers. The city expects to get another large commercial company in to complete Phase 3, north of K mart.
"We are pleased to be anchored with Price Savers," Talbot said."We are extremely pleased with the East Bay development. The overall master plan is conducive to what we like to bring in with development."
Between each major store, 40,000 square feet of space will be available for development, Jenkins said. "When we finish Phase 3, we expect gross sales to exceed $100 million a year."
He said that by next year, 400,000 square feet of space will be under construction in the East Bay park.
The city used to receive its income mainly from property tax with a small percentage from sales tax and franchise fees, but Jenkins said recent development has brought the city more than twice as much sales tax as property tax.
"That is significant in the revenue coming to the city. It helps us operate the standard of life we like to have in the community."
Golightly said developers anticipate the East Bay commercial center will be a "hyper center" where people can do their shopping in one area. The center is expected to do twice the volume of a downtown mall because of its location.
"They have the best of both worlds," he said. "The center is still close to downtown and it is next to the freeway. It will draw people from a large geographical area."