No current plans for a grocery store
The City Council met on Tuesday, February 23, with all members in attendance for a marathon meeting that lasted more than six hours, concluding past midnight.
An early agenda item for the evening was considering a preliminary plat for a five-parcel commercial project just west of 3600 West, at the entrance into Holbrook Farms. The petitioner was Boyer Company. The agenda item was a formality as the area is already zoned commercial.
The proposed buildings’ anticipated use would be medical office tenants to enhance the neighboring Primary Children’s Hospital complex.
As the presentation began, Councilwoman Katie Koivisto, a resident of Holbrook Farms, asked the applicant, “Is there any plan of bringing a grocery store into the neighborhood?”
“We would absolutely love to bring a grocery store. It is market-driven, and we have talked to pretty much every grocer in the state of Utah and some of them multiple times. There is no interest in coming to Holbrook Farms at this time. Grocery has just changed over the last couple of years, but that isn’t to say they won’t come in the future,” replied the Boyer Company representative, Spencer Moffat.
Councilwoman Koivisto expressed disappointment in the answer, stating that residents have been anticipating a grocery store for some time now. Koivisto also cited a grocery store was “promised” by real estate salespeople when residents moved into the fairly new Lehi neighborhood.
Moffatt clarified that the neighborhood developers didn’t “promise” a grocery store and apologized for any past miscommunication.
“I don’t control what decisions grocers make and where they want to go. That isn’t up to me as a developer. We’ve had conversations with Harmons, we’ve had conversations with Smith’s, we’ve had conversations with Maceys, and none of those are interested at this time. We would love to put them there, but that isn’t something we control. The market drives that,” said Moffat.
Koivisto reiterated her disappointment and expressed that putting medical offices instead of a grocery store will also disappoint many residents in the area.
“I don’t know that we can deny this based on the fact that we want them to bring a grocery store here. That isn’t in the scope of what we can do,” said Councilwoman Paige Albrecht.
Councilman Chris Condie and Mayor Mark Johnson also acknowledged that city staff has been working on getting restaurants and a grocery store to the Holbrook Farms neighborhood for nearly two years with no success yet.
Councilman Condie motioned to approve the five-building project and requested the City traffic engineer work with the developer to create the best traffic flow for the area. Councilwoman Koivisto seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.