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The City Journals

South Jordan to Contribute Parking Garage to Office and Hotel Development on Jordan Gateway

Nov 06, 2015 11:19AM ● By Bryan Scott

By James Luke

Development on the hill overlooking South Jordan, west of Interstate 15 and north of 10600 South, is poised to take a big next step. The 12.4-acre surface parking lot of the UTA Front Runner stop at 10351 South Jordan Gateway is set to become an office and hotel development.

The land, valued at $6.8 million, is UTA’s contribution to the project. In addition to the Front Runner commuter train that stops there, three bus lines serve commuters and residents in the area. Paul Drake of UTA reports that the agency is conducting updated studies as to specific ridership figures at the station to accommodate park-and-ride customers in the parking lot during construction and when the project is complete in a few years.

South Jordan’s Re-Development Agency is issuing up to $16.7 million in bonds to help build the parking and access portions of the two six-story office buildings. The city council, sitting in their role as the RDA board at the Oct. 6 council meeting, committed to issuing bonds to go toward the new building project.

With collateral support, or a “backstop” of sales taxes, the city is able to get favorable financing terms on the bonds, which will go on the market about six weeks from the date of the city council resolutions supporting the project, according to city bond advisor Laura Lewis. The development is part of RDA Area 9, which was designated by the city for growth in 2006. At that time, the city’s RDA board (the members of the city council then in office) voted to create RDA Area 9, covering the area along Jordan Gateway around the Front Runner stop.

City Commerce Director Brian Preece explained that the state law authorizing an RDA area “first calculates the base-year tax of a designated re-development area, figuring all the tax money that currently goes to all taxing entities (such as the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, the sewer district, the school district, Salt Lake County, the state, etc.), and then compare that to the anticipated amount of taxes generated by the proposed development when complete.” The increase in taxes expected from the new development is called the “tax increment,” which is the source of funds that will be used to repay the bonds.

Preece notes that the RDA does not try to make a project profitable for developers, but rather helps to provide the motivation for the proposed project to proceed in the form of certain amenities or additions that add to the desirability of the overall development project, but which a private developer may not be expected to necessarily add as part of a project without the city’s involvement through RDA funds.

The new plan envisions a pair of six-story office towers, to be built by Millrock Development, with 180,000-square-feet each, on the east edge of the current parking lot property. West of the office buildings, closer to Jordan Gateway, will be a new full-service hotel with restaurant and convention facilities, to be developed by the Thackeray Garn Company.