POCATELLO — It appears the former Winco Foods location will not remain idle for long.
Mark Ridley, owner of Ridley’s Family Markets, which has a location in Old Town Pocatello, is opening a second Gate City store in the former Winco space at 1000 Pocatello Creek Road.
Ridley said that with similar stores on that side of the Portneuf Valley being much larger chain retailers, he believes those living in the area, “will appreciate a more reasonably sized, hometown, full-service supermarket with great prices.”
He also said Ridley’s current location will remain open.
Don Zebe, vice president of retail for Caldwell Banker in Pocatello, said he’s been working on leasing the prime location for more than a year, since learning Winco would be building a new location. Among the draws for Ridley’s to the Pocatello Creek building, he said, is the proximity to Interstate 15 and the cluster of hotels located on the other side of the highway.
The new store will dwarf Ridley’s current location, coming in at about 31 percent larger at 42,000 square feet. The current store, which will remain open, is 32,000 square feet.
The larger square footage means expanded areas in the new store compared to the current location, including an expanded produce, service meat and butcher block departments. The standards one has become accustomed to in Ridley’s, the full-service deli, made-from-scratch bakery and full-service pharmacy will also be there.
Those thinking that turning a former grocery store into a Ridley’s will be a slam dunk should think again. Ridley says renovations will be substantial.
“Customers who had been shopping in the building before as a Winco truly won’t recognize anything when we get done with it,” he said. “It will be a very nice, modern, full-service supermarket.”
Ridley hopes to get that construction underway in May with plans for an August opening. When completed, it will employ between 75 and 100 people.
That’s a number Zebe is especially excited about. While his role as a commercial real estate broker simply means finding the best buyer or renter for a particular property, he’s especially excited when that lease or sale means bringing a new company to town or a current company’s expansion.
“This is something that really helps,” he said. “It’s great when we can bring more jobs into the community.”
Zebe has finalized three such deals during the past few weeks, including the sale of the former Scott’s Ski & Sports to Pawn 1, which plans to open a retail pawn operation in August, and ULTA, a beauty products and service retailer that anticipates a July opening in the old Sierra’s location.
Between the three new retail operations opening during the coming year, Zebe estimates that 100 to 125 new jobs may be created.
Ridley’s currently operates 19 food stores in Idaho and Utah and the new Pocatello location will be their 21st store after the opening of another store in Midway, Utah expected prior to the Pocatello opening.