SALT LAKE CITY -- The state of Utah is preparing to launch a massive development project at Point of the Mountain.
With the Utah State Prison moving over the next five years, the state's Point of the Mountain Development Commission met on Monday to begin drafting a master plan for what it will look like.
"This is a one shot for the state in terms of getting this right," said House Majority Leader Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville.
The relocation of the Utah State Prison presents a development opportunity for the state that could potentially be worth billions of dollars. Governor Gary Herbert has nicknamed the area "Silicon Slopes" for its proximity to tech companies already moving in.
From the presentation:
During a presentation Monday, Envision Utah President & CEO Richard Grow said there are an estimated 20,000 acres in the area around the prison ripe for development.
"If it's done right, it will have value to everybody," Grow told FOX 13. "Value to the public, value to our children and grandchildren in having jobs, value to the state because they are a significant landowner."
Theresa Foxley, the deputy director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, said beyond the tech firms moving in, there's the potential to lure financial tech firms, life sciences companies and other development.
"If we do this right I think this can be an absolute jewel not only for the state but the country in attracting the best talent, marquee companies, and creating a real culture within the state that's exciting, vibrant, dynamic and diverse," she said.
But commission members cautioned that the development has to be smartly done.
"If you don't have a plan, development happens haphazardly. So you don't want to see that happen," said Sandy City Mayor Tom Dolan.
Envision Utah rattled off a "wish list" from stakeholders who were asked to weigh in on potential development. They said people wanted to see:
- Employees able to use public transportation to get to work
- Housing for young families
- Quiet neighborhoods
- Proximity to rail transit
- Trails and parks
- Urban living opportunities
- Good restaurants
- Something done with the gravel pits in the area
- Air quality issues dealt with
- Better traffic
Members of the commission were also insistent that public comment be included throughout the process.
"There's so many people that so much interest in this. We don't want anyone to be left out of sharing their voice," said Rep. Wilson.
Envision Utah said it planned to launch a website as the Point of the Mountain development moves forward for public engagement. The group planned future updates into 2018.
From the presentation to the commission: