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The City Journals

Update: Southwest Salt Lake County economic development

Oct 28, 2016 01:47PM ● By Tori LaRue

Pictured is an aerial view of Independence at the Point master-planned community in Bluffdale. (Candlelight Homes)

By Tori La Rue | [email protected]

Herriman, Utah - The southwest side of Salt Lake County contains more undeveloped land than anywhere else in the county, and future economic development plans in Bluffdale, Herriman, Riverton, South Jordan and West Jordan will be a game-changer for the state and county, according to county Mayor Ben McAdams. 

“We are all part of an interconnected metropolitan area, and what happens in one part of our valley is going to affect directly or indirectly other parts of this valley,” McAdams said. 

McAdams and representatives from southwest municipalities shared their visions for their jurisdictions and disclosed upcoming projects at the first annual Economic Southwest Salt Lake County Summit on Sept. 20. 


Ten years ago, 76 percent of Bluffdale’s population was east of Redwood Road in low-density zoning, but a 294-acre master-planned community, Independence at the Point, and several other Bluffdale communities are shaking things up, offering apartments, townhomes and single-family homes to the east of Redwood Road. Within seven years, the city’s population east of Redwood Road is projected to surpass the city’s population west of Redwood Road, according to city officials. 

A Smith’s Marketplace is under construction on the southeast side of the Redwood Road/Bangerter Highway intersection, and developers are building three office buildings behind it which will be a “great asset” to the community, according to Bluffdale Mayor Dirk Timothy. 

Timothy said, he believes the extension of Porter Rockwell Boulevard will be a major economic booster for the city. Bluffdale owned the boulevard but transferred ownership to the state on Sept. 19, so the boulevard’s expansion could receive state funding. 

The boulevard is in two sections, one that attaches to Interstate-15 via 14600 South in the east and the other that connects Mountain View Corridor to Redwood Road in the west. City officials will extend the boulevard, lessening the gap between the two pieces, and the Utah Department of Transportation will work to acquire funding for a $40 million bridge to bring the boulevard over the Jordan River, according to Patrick Cowley, UDOT Traffic Operations engineer for Region 2. 

“State routes are regional in nature and connect high-capacity roadways,” Cowley said.

“Putting Porter Rockwell to connect I-15 to tie into Mountain View makes it regional in nature, so it fits on the state route system.” 

Cowley said he’s not sure when the Boulevard will stretch from 14600 South to the Mountain View Corridor, since the project will become a higher priority once Bluffdale lengthens the road, but said it would be “fantastic” if it was finished by 2020. 

The state will eventually expand Porter Rockwell Boulevard into a seven-lane highway, and its Redwood Road intersection is expected to be one of the busiest along Redwood Road, according to UDOT. 

“This is good news for the region because that will really help with the transportation near the point of the mountain,” Timothy said.


The development of the thousands of acres to the west of the Mountain View Corridor is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity,” according to McAdams. The county mayor called for the creation of a Mountain View Economic Development Commission at the Sept. 21 summit to unite stakeholders. Herriman Carmen Freeman echoed McAdam’s sentiments in his presentation during the mayors’ panel. 

“Mountain View Corridor is going to be the driver of economic development for us, and I think our neighboring communities,” Freeman said. “We feel like it is the road of the future.”

Herriman city officials and Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen announced the creation of a $50 million soccer training facility located in Herriman near Bruin View Drive off of the Mountain View Corridor on April 9, and ceremonially broke ground on the facility in on Aug. 23. The building will include a 5,000-seat stadium for the Monarchs, Real Salt Lake’s development league, six outdoor fields, two indoor fields and a STEM school. The facility should be finished by September 2017, according to Hansen. 

The Anthem Commercial Center at 11800 South along the northeast corner of the city is Herriman’s other project underway along the Mountain View Corridor. The 50-acre parcel will contain the largest Walmart in the state at its completion with 200,000 square feet of retail space. 

The construction on the Walmart will likely begin in spring 2017, and the building should open in spring 2018, according to Herriman Public Information Officer Tami Moody. In all, the commercial center will house 500,000 square feet of retail space, but the city is not releasing names of other interested tenants. 

Herriman Towne Center contains townhomes, single-family homes, the Herriman Library and the J. L. Sorenson Recreation Center and continues to grow. The 58,000-square-foot new city hall building is under construction with an estimated completion in September of 2017. The city hall will house the city offices, justice court and law enforcement, and as the city continues to grow, another building will be designed for the court and law enforcement. 

The towne center plan includes the building of a splash pad, which will double as an ice rink in the winter, and a 2,500-seat amphitheater, which will likely be finished by October 2017, according to city staff. 

“It’s going to be a gathering place for us that we want to use to bring our citizens together,” Freeman said. 


Riverton will reach build-out by the year 2030 with the completion of its master development of 543-acre located at 13400 South between Bangerter and Mountain View Corridor, according to Riverton Mayor Bill Applegarth. 

The development will be the largest residential and commercial development in the city’s history and will bring nearly 3,800 residential units and about three million square-feet of commercial space to the city. The city council approved an agreement with Suburban Land Reserve, a real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in January to begin the project. 

The plans for the residential development have yet to be determined, but the 85-acres of mixed-use area has already been planned by CenterCal Properties, the retail development company who created the 62-acre Station Park hub in Farmington. CenterCal named this area “Mountain View Village.” 

Phase one of the village, which Applegarth describes as a “typical shopping center,” began in October. The anchor for this project is Harmons. 

The second phase of the construction will give more variety to Riverton residents’ shopping, Applegarth said. It will include specialty retail shops, a centerpiece fountain that will double as an ice rink, a movie theater, gym and restaurants. 

“It will revolutionize the area,” Applegarth said. 

The last phase of development in the village will be a 23-acre office park. Tenants have yet to be announced. 

The city expects a sales tax increase of $2.5 to $3 million in today’s money from the 85-acre development.

“We collect, in the whole city, $6 million in sales tax, so this will increase that drastically,” Applegarth said. “The one interesting thing with that as well is that all the roads will be private roads, so we will not be getting road repairs and have parks that we have to care for. It won’t be a lot of expenditure on our part.” 

South Jordan

With South Jordan’s population skyrocketing from 13,000 in 1990 to 67,000 in the last U.S. census, the city is in a constant state of development, according to Brian Preece, South Jordan’s economic development director who filled in for Mayor David Alvord’s at the summit. South Jordan’s been in the top-10 fastest growing cities of its size in the nation for the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

After nine years of discussion, the SoJo Station transit-oriented development is underway at 10300 South Jordan Gateway. The development will include two six-story Class A office towers, a full-service Embassy Suites hotel and a two-level parking structure, which will be immediately accessible from the FrontRunner platform. The office towers will be built with floor to ceiling glass, LEED design, an exercise facility and an onsite café.

“This will be a great entrance into our city,” Preece said about the development on the day of its groundbreaking. “It will be visible from I-15, and will be aesthetically pleasing and a good landmark for people to see what the city is all about.”

Preece described the Oquirrh Mountain Marketplace development at Bangerter Highway and 11400 South, across from The District shopping center as a sprouting development. Most of the anchor tenants in the marketplace are food places, and Preece said that’s a change from the other shopping developments in the city.

South Jordan started business development on the Mountain View Corridor with a Smith’s Marketplace, and Preece said he’s sure more development will happen in the area soon. 

With Rio Tinto Kennecott selling Daybreak land to Varde Partners, an alternative investment adviser, Preece said diverse economic development options could open up for the city. 

West Jordan

West Jordan hoped to bring a massive Facebook data center to 1,700 acres of land on the west side of the city, but the social media giant signed a deal with competitor Los Lunas and the state of New Mexico in September when offered a better deal. 

West Jordan’s potential deal included about $240 million in incentives, but Mayor Kim Rolfe claimed the deal would have infused hundreds of millions of dollars in the local economy, supported thousands of construction and engineering jobs for over 10 years, given the school district millions of dollars and acted as a lure to get other high-tech companies to the county. 

Rolfe chalked the loss up to “political theatrics” in an official statement. McAdams clashed with West Jordan on the data center and alerted the media about negotiations. He said the incentives were too high and that the center would create minimal long-term jobs and would consume too much of the city’s water. 

“There is a mountain of evidence out there that shows that those tax-incentives to companies really only produce marginal returns in exchange for the investments we offer,” McAdams said at the Sept. 21 summit. “Worse, the prevalent use of tax incentives coupled with multiple separate tax jurisdictions involved often end up pitting jurisdiction against jurisdiction against one another (sic) in a race-to-the-bottom-type scenario.” 

McAdams said he was hopeful county, city and other stakeholders could unite in economic discussions in the future. 

“For too long we have been reactive when it comes to economic development, accepting and even incenting company relocations and expansions without a big picture view of how that might fit into our community’s fabric,” he said. 

West Jordan is working hard to save the 1,700-acre property for commercial and industrial property in future deals, according to Rolfe. West Jordan has a total of 6,000 undeveloped acres, but the 1,700-acre property will ensure that the Jordan School District receives a tax-base in a business community so there will be no discount on property takes, he said. 

Rolfe presented a video at the summit that detailed many of West Jordan’s economic development plans. 

In addition to the 1,700-acre property, the city is looking to redevelop 13-acres across from its city hall at about 8000 South Redwood Road into a mixed-use city center project that may include a hotel, small conference center and a mix of retail and housing. 

Mountain View Corridor and Bacchus Highway have given the city a greater access to the west bench and will allow development of high-end homes with beautiful views, according to the video. 

The Jordan Valley Transit Oriented Development is underway, which will include residential and office buildings with easy access to the mid-Jordan Trax line and Bangerter Highway, and the expansion of 5600 South to the west has given West Jordan a greater opportunity to advance economic development at the northwest side of the city. 

The City Journals will continue to follow the economic development of West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton, Herriman and Bluffdale, and will write updates periodically.