Another phase in the ongoing progression of East Bay development is under way now that groundbreaking ceremonies have been held for a shopping center near Price Savers in south Provo.
McDonalds, a Payless Shoesource store and a bank (yet to be announced) will join with K mart in the retail center, located off University Avenue and approximately 12th South. Deseret Book has also signed a lease in the center, and a family restaurant has expressed interest in the East Bay location.Mike Vanchiere, Provo's East Bay project manager, said 31,000 square feet of retail shop space is available in addition to K mart's 91,000 square feet and the McDonalds and bank pad bordering University Avenue.
"Within 30 days we will announce more shops," he said during the Tuesday ceremony. "This (retail center) will have a great impact on the community. The addition to the economy of money from property tax and sales tax is always a welcomed benefit."
Mayor Joe Jenkins said, "We are reaching an exciting time in Provo's history to see so much construction. It means that we are an alive and vibrant community. In 30 days, 500,000 square feet will be under construction. We are exceeding our expectations here. This is a site we can be proud of."
He said the city's old maintenance building - just north of the K mart site - will be torn down in several weeks and the ground will be prepared for another pad.
"We have really been enthusiastic with the East Bay growth and development, said Stan Brown, Provo Council chairman. "It has grown faster than we anticipated, and we are happy with it."
Jim Talbot, representing the K mart Corp., said the K mart should open in November in time for the holidays.
"One of the things we have created here is one of the finest destiny-oriented shopping centers in the state," said Gary Eckman, president of Eckman and Midgley Construction Co., property developers. "We are proud to be a part of it."
"The shopping center will be geared toward very large retail types of businesses," said Jim Clark, Coldwell Banker realtor and chief marketer of the plaza. "The smallest space in the entire three-phase project is 3,000 square feet while the largest is around 100,000 square feet."
With the commitment from K mart, Payless, McDonalds and others, the shopping center is already establishing itself as a center for big retailers and services, he said.
Vanchiere said the large retailers will add jobs to the economy and will help raise the tax base and increase the average wage rate in Provo.
Phase one of the center is expected to be open in September and phase two in November.