OGDEN -- A major centerpiece in the Ogden River Project is on schedule to be completed before the year is out.
The Ogden City Redevelopment Agency, which consists of members of the city council, recently approved a property sale and development agreement with The Four Foods Group LLC, which will bring a Kneaders Bakery & CafÃ© to Ogden as part of the river project.
The Utah-based restaurant franchise that specializes in gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, pastries and European hearth breads will be at 1953 Washington Blvd., on the west side of the street just south of Park Boulevard.
The lot is approximately 36,785 square feet with a sale price of $267,795.
City officials believe the Kneaders deal will serve as a catalyst, bringing additional development to the river project, which was established in 2002 but has struggled to attract tenants.
"We think this is a quintessential addition (to the project)," said Tom Christopulos, the city's director of community and economic development.
"We think that once this is in place, additional businesses will come to the area."
Steve Fishburn, the city's business development director, said the city has been trying to bring the business to Ogden for some time.
"We had pursued Kneaders for over a year, so we're thrilled they are here. They fill a niche that isn't being served."
The development agreement between Kneaders and the city stipulates that construction must be completed no later than December, but Andrew K. Smith, CEO of Four Foods, said the company's target date is June.
"We've always wanted to be in Ogden, but we couldn't find a location that we liked," he said, "so now that we've got one, we want to get in and get started."
Kneaders already has locations in Layton and Bountiful.
The development agreement also stipulates that the developer must employ local contractors and subcontractors where commercially feasible.
The Ogden River Project encompasses about 60 acres straddling the river from 18th to 20th streets and Washington Boulevard to Wall Avenue.
It takes in what is known as the Riverbend mixed-use project, which includes the reclamation of the Ogden River, a walking trail, retail businesses and 730 dwellings, including townhouses, apartments and single-family homes.
Christopulos said Kneaders and other businesses that follow will also improve the marketability of the housing complex.