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Winco discount grocer opening in Orem

OREM (Daily Herald) -- Commercial activity is picking up at the 65-acre Northgate Village mixed-use project on 800 North in Orem.

Idaho-based discount grocery chain WinCo Foods began construction of its first 94,000-square-foot store in Utah County several weeks ago, and is scheduled to open in spring 2010. Negotiations to acquire an 8.5-acre lot for the store began last fall and were completed in July, said Spencer Croshaw, a real estate agent with NAI Commercial Real Estate.

The store is expected to hire about 200 workers.

"That location made sense for WinCo because it's next to I-15 and 800 North, a major east-west corridor in Orem. There's lots of traffic and visibility," he said.

According to WinCo's Web site, the company was established in 1967 when Ralph Ward and Bud Williams founded a discount warehouse grocery store in Boise, Idaho under the name Waremart. The company operated stores under the names of Waremart Food Centers and Cub Foods until 1999 when it changed its storefront name and the corporate name to WinCo Foods, which stands for Winning Company. It now operates 66 stores in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada and has more than 12,000 employees nationwide.

Northgate developer Paul Washburn said the recession has made it harder for retailers to get financing to expand, but inquiries have picked up over summer compared with earlier this year. Construction began about two months ago on TownePlace Suites, a 100-room Marriott brand, that's being built on a 2.25 acre lot, Reams said. "TownePlace Suites got held up in their financing last year when banks scaled back on lending. But it is now under construction," Washburn said.

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