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The City Journals

18-story tower headlines approved concept plan for South Cairns development

Apr 29, 2019 09:38AM ● By Justin Adams

A rendering of the South Cairns development project, visualized looking south from the South Towne Promenade. (Courtesy of Raddon Development)

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

The Sandy City Council approved concept plans for the South Cairns development project presented by Raddon Development during its April 9 meeting. 

The project is a piece of the city’s overall Cairns Master Plan, which aims to create a “downtown-like” area between Rio Tinto Stadium and South Town Mall, all following the theme of “Mountain Meets Urban.” This particular development is situated on city-owned land between I-15 and Centennial Parkway and between 10200 South and Mail Ring Road. 

The proposed project would include the tallest building in Utah outside of Salt Lake City, an 18-story tower consisting of both corporate office space and a hotel. There would also be a second six-story office building connected to the tower by a two-story glass skybridge over Monroe Street. There would also be a new apartment building containing 204 units, located directly south of the South Towne Promenade as well as restaurant and retail space lining Centennial Parkway and 10200 South. Two seperate parking structures serving the entire development would total over 1,700 parking stalls. 

The design was chosen from a list of proposals the city received after issuing an RFP (request for proposal).

“All of the shortlisted proposals were really good. It was not an easy decision,” said Nick Duerksen, the city’s director of economic development. 

Ultimately, the city chose to go with the design submitted by Raddon Development, a local development company whose resume includes the Union Heights development in Cottonwood Heights and the Hidden Valley development in Draper. 

Their proposal was designed in coordination with the architectural firm, Beecher Walker, which has designed multiple iconic buildings in the area including Hale Centre Theatre and the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. 

Jory Walker, the principal architect and president of Beecher Walker, told the council the development would satisfy a demand for more urban housing in the south part of the valley.

“I’ve done six million square feet of office space in the Silicon Slopes area,” he said. “The problem is no one wants to live there. They all live in Sugar House. They all live in 9th and 9th. That’s why the freeways have gotten crazy because people are working out here in our neck of the woods but they’re not living out here because we haven’t created cool new places for them to live.”

That vision fits with what Sandy City is trying to accomplish with its Cairns project.

“It’s a concept plan at this point but it has all the nuts and bolts of everything the Cairns Master Plan calls for which is mixed-use, density, corporate headquarters, a hotel, mixed with residential and retail,” said Duerksen. 

Now that the concept plan has been approved by the administration and the city council, it must now go through the architecture review committee, planning commission and public hearings. Duerksen said it’s possible it could move through those steps in the next few months and the project could begin construction by late summer. The massive project, however, is expected to take five to six years to complete.