OREM -- Like flowers in the spring, businesses in Orem are blossoming and popping up all over. The city that seems to have been in a winter sleep for the past few years is waking up with a flurry of new restaurants and companies coming into town.
"We anticipate continued success in our economic development efforts with the development of a new website, a great economic development team, and the redevelopment of the University Mall," said Steven Downs, city spokesman.
Downs is referring to econdev.orem.org, an extensive new website that helps companies looking to locate in Orem, allows existing businesses to be showcased in a directory, and offers a commercial real estate guide. The general public will find access to city demographics and other information on new developments and businesses coming to town.
"Our old website was for CEDO [the Community Economic Development Organization] and there was not much information," said Ryan Clark, the city's economic development division manager.
Clark said the city's new website went live Wednesday. It is also part of a potential group of sites from various cities that will link to the new Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce website.
Golden Shovel is the website design company that has put Orem on the economic map while also developing for the chamber.
"Our two sites talk and share with each other," Clark said.
"We had a soft launch of our website May 5," said Donna Milakovec, the chamber's executive vice president. "It will be a regional website that will coordinate with other cities later."
Now Orem businesses can go online to the site, register and link their information as a way to promote themselves and Orem.
Listed below are just some of the economic development announcements Orem is touting this year:
- Nordstrom Rack moving into University Crossing.
- RC Willey expanding to the University Mall, which will include the consolidation of the Provo store. The new RC Willey store will reflect a design similar to the one unveiled at the recently opened Draper store.
- A non-disclosure agreement has been signed on the current 90,000-square-foot RC Willey building on University Parkway for a tenant that will occupy the full building.
- Charming Charlie will be opening its first Utah County location at the University Mall.
- Outback Steakhouse will be building a standalone restaurant in front of its current location at the southwest intersection of State Street and University Parkway to make room for the Nordstrom Rack. Pier 1 Imports will move into the current Outback location, and the now-vacant Sears Outlet location will be combined with the storefront being vacated by Pier 1 to house Nordstrom Rack. The strip mall will have a complete change to its facade.
- Dairy Queen will reopen in Orem, with a new building at 800 N. 800 East in front of Harmons. Dairy Queen vacated its former location near Macey's when the Utah Department of Transportation widened 800 North.
- Zaxby's will be building its first Utah County location at Orem Boulevard and Center Street. It will replace Taco Bell, which is building a new stand-alone location in front of Target.
- Hungry Howie's opened its first Wasatch Front pizza restaurant at 1600 North and State Street.
- Chick-Fil-A is opening its first stand-alone store in Orem near 165 North and State Street. It is currently under construction.
- Utility work is being done to build an office complex near State Street and University Parkway. Approximately 50,000 square feet has been leased so far.
- The expansion has started on the old Nordstrom building to prepare for RC Willey.
- Demolition work has started at the old Pirate Island Pizza to begin preparation for the Ivory housing development.
- The former Mervyn's building is set to come down this summer to make way for a new park that will feature both an indoor and outdoor play area for children and for family gathering. It will also be a place for holiday gatherings and community events.