CLINTON -- The city's 12,000 residents should have the option of doing their Thanksgiving grocery shopping within the city boundaries this year.
At a Tuesday groundbreaking for a new Albertson's store on the northwest corner of 1800 North and 2000 West, officials said the store should be operating within 10 months.City officials, builders and Albertson's representatives expressed excitement over Clinton's first major grocery store and shopping center.
A Maverik Country Store has been the city's largest retail business. Neighboring Clearfield and Sunset have the nearest grocery stores.
The 58,000-square-foot Albertson's will be the anchor tenant to a 35-acre retail development called Clinton Towne Center. There will be pads for 10 other businesses. First Security Bank, on the southwest corner of the intersection, plans to move into the new center and a video store -- possibly Blockbuster -- may also be locating there.
"This is a great highlight in a lot of our lives," Mayor A. DeMar Mitchell said. "We haven't had something like this before."
Ernie Smith, one of the developers along with Scott Brubaker in the Smith-Brubaker Co., said the site is very appropriate because it is across the street from City Hall.
"This is going to be a wonderful addition to the city of Clinton," he said.
Dennis Burt, real estate manager for Albertson's, said the new store will increase the cohesion of Clinton.
"I think it's going to add to your sense of community," he said, noting shopping centers bring residents together in the same way as schools and churches.
Burt said the new store comes at a time of big changes in the grocery industry. He said despite the large size of today's grocery stores, many consumers want a a corner market feeling.
Burt said Albertson's is moving away from building look-alike stores and the Clinton store will be subdivided into speciality shops.
"It'll be easier to find things," Burt predicted.
Snack foods will be in one place, and there will be a baby substore where everything from diapers to baby food will be located. This should make it easier to track down often hard-to-find items like marshmallows, Burt said. The produce section of the store will have the feel of a roadside market and its fish section will be modeled after Pacific Northwest markets.
The Albertson's will also operate a pharmacy and have its own gas/convenience store in one corner of the property -- part of another trend in some grocery store operations.
Cape Construction Co. of Layton is the contractor. A related residential development, with two phases, will also be north of Clinton Towne Square. One phase is now under construction.