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The City Journals

Massive ‘Beltway West’ development to feature five offices buildings, 273,000 square feet

Jun 24, 2020 03:17PM ● By Carl Fauver

A 6-story, energy-efficient office building like this is coming to Taylorsville, one of five buildings to be constructed west of the belt route near 4250 South. (St. John Properties)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

A Maryland-based property developer has committed more than a half-billion dollars of construction spending in our state, with the most recent expenditure earmarked for five new office buildings in Taylorsville.

Those kinds of economic development numbers were impressive to Gov. Gary Herbert even before the pandemic. Now, in the midst of the coronavirus, it’s enough to get him to participate in a company news conference.

“Congratulations on what I am sure will be another strong project for your company,” Herbert said, during his brief Zoom appearance, hosted by St. John Properties. “Utah has found a way to address public health concerns during the pandemic. Moody’s Analytics has named the Salt Lake and Provo areas among the top 10, best-positioned metropolitan areas in the country to recover from it. We are so grateful you are coming to our state.”

Actually, SJP has already been in Utah a couple of years. In 2017, the developer broke ground on a commercial development in Pleasant Grove. Subsequent land acquisitions have grown that site to 85 acres.

During their online media event announcing the Taylorsville development, company representatives simultaneously announced another six-building project planned in Springville. St. John expects the two new projects to total $120 million. The company claims its total financial commitment so far in Utah is now half a billion dollars.

Edward St. John founded St. John Properties in 1971, first as a commercial buildings’ developer and now a long-term real estate investment company. He, too, participated in the news conference.

“Since starting the company, we have weathered an oil crisis, a bank collapse crisis, a dot-com crash, then the Great Recession of 2008,” he said. “We are going to weather this COVID-19 crisis and come out stronger.”

Construction work at both the Taylorsville and Springville sites is expected to begin this summer. SJP has dubbed the Taylorsville project “Beltway West.”

The 19.5-acre Taylorsville site is adjacent (to the north) of the former American Express property, west of the belt route. State officials recently purchased that building to house Utah government offices.

The “jewel” of the Beltway West development will be a six-story, 154,190-square-foot office tower, making it one of the tallest structures in Taylorsville. The other four planned buildings are single-story structures, each about 30,000 square feet. Once fully occupied, St. John estimates about 2,000 people will work at the site.

St. John takes particular pride in reducing energy consumption by constructing buildings that are favorably measured by the U.S. Green Building Council, through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program. The LEED rating system for design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings is recognized worldwide.

“SJP buildings are LEED certified and use 39% less in consumption energy, 12% less consumption in water, 35% lower greenhouse emissions and have 19% lower maintenance costs,” according to a company news release. “St. John Properties is the third-largest builder of LEED-certified buildings in the United States, with 70 currently certified.”

SJP estimates its entire commercial development portfolio features about 20 million square feet of commercial space, with a total valuation of $3.5 billion.

The company is not yet estimating when any of the five Beltway West commercial buildings will be available for occupa