The $3.5 million construction of Smith's Food King in west Provo shows that downtown is still an important part of the city, the city's redevelopment director says.
"All redevelopment projects are not done, but some very positive things are happening to strengthen downtown," Ron Madsen said.Smith's Food and Drug Superstore is one project the city sees as a strength to the area, he said. The 60,000-square-foot facility is near completion and will open Aug. 10.
The store will include a pharmacy, a service deli, a bakery, expanded meat and produce departments, and a camera and video bar. It is located north of the Sears building at 207 N. First West and will share a parking lot with Sears.
"We feel Sears and Smith's will gain mutual benefits from the project," Madsen said. "A lot of people come from out of town to shop at Sears and may now do some grocery shopping because it is convenient. Smith's customers may also start shopping at Sears."
Charles O'Brien, Sears store manager in Provo, said, "As for Sears, we are very pleased to have Smith's as neighbors. We understand they are the largest grocery retailer in the Salt Lake market. We expect it to have a positive impact on our sales."
Peter Barth, an attorney for Smith's, said: "I think that we will be able to help each other. It is a pretty densely populated area of Provo and it made some sense to go there."
He said the superstore is a few thousand square feet smaller than the standard size superstore, but is close to being one of the largest stores Smith's builds.
"We're anxious to get back into that market," Barth said. Smith's was previously located in Orem next to Fred Meyer off State Street. That store was closed more than a year ago.