SLC moves ahead with massive development project

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 18:58:47-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A swath of land west of the airport and north of I-80 has been flagged as the next major development project here.

The Salt Lake City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, recently approved the creation of a "community reinvestment area" to spur major amounts of development.

The Northwest Quadrant (graphic by Russ Slade, FOX 13 News)

"This land is incredibly valuable for development, but also economic growth in our community," said Salt Lake City Councilman Derek Kitchen.

The Northwest Quadrant, as it's known, is already going to be the site of Amazon's massive fulfillment center and construction is already under way for a lot of other industrial and light manufacturing businesses. To the west of it will be the new Utah State Prison.

Salt Lake City is also laying the groundwork for a "global trade port." The concept of an inland port has been eyeballed by the state for a while. That is where shipping from the coast comes in via rail or truck to warehouses here, then it would shipped out region-wide.

There has been some concern the state of Utah would step in and take over some aspects of the Northwest Quadrant. Last year, a bill was introduced in the last days of the Utah State Legislature to give the state more authority as the new prison was constructed nearby. (The bill ultimately did not pass.)

Development projects are under way in Salt Lake City's Northwest Quadrant. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

But Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, said he sponsored the bill to ensure Salt Lake City moved fast with development opportunities.

"It would make a lot of sense if Salt Lake City would be nimble on this process," he told FOX 13. "We just don't want to lose the opportunity."

Sen. Stevenson insisted that the city and state were working well together on development opportunities in the area.

"We are focused on being good collaborative partners for the global trade area," Kitchen said. "As well as all of the economic development alternatives that exist out here."

Kitchen, who also chairs the city's RDA, said the impact of the Northwest Quadrant development will be massive:

  • The CRA will reinvest $123 million back into the area over 20 years (mostly in infrastructure);
  • $58 million in new tax revenue over the next 20 years;
  • 32,000 jobs, and another 100,000 in temporary construction jobs building up the area;
  • Mass transit improvements west of Salt Lake City International Airport;
  • Land value increases from $95 an acre presently to $464,667 per acre (a 4,857% increase).

Kitchen said another benefit of moving forward with developing the Northwest Quadrant is that 10% of revenues will be earmarked toward affordable housing options elsewhere in Salt Lake City.

The RDA is set to finalize the Northwest Quadrant plans in a meeting slated Tuesday.