As developments go, the proposed 400-acre Jordan Landing project will be a huge and historic undertaking for West Jordan City.
It will combine about 125 single family homes and 780 apartments with an open-air mall, a business and research park, eight to 10 major retail stores, major restaurants, a massive 24-screen movie complex, a three-story hotel, professional offices and light industrial or manufacturing areas.All will be scattered around the east and west perimeters of Salt Lake City Airport No. 2, and served by a rail spur.
Jordan Landing is moving ahead following a Feb. 17 City Council vote that rezoned the property, located between 6200 and 7800 South west of Bangerter Highway.
Paul Blanchard, West Jordan's economic development manager, said the Russell Gross Development Co. of Carlsbad, Calif., closed on the property this week.
Work on the theater complex will begin next summer, he said, with other phases to be built over a period of several years.
"It will create a true commercial center" for the city, he said. "The location along Bangerter Highway provides excellent access . . . and this will keep the ground around the airport from being developed in a piecemeal way."
Not everyone embraces the project. Some neighbors who live north and east of the area came to the rezoning hearing to question the number of apartments and ask how the project will affect traffic, schools and city water supplies.
But city officials say West Jordan can handle the impacts and are assuring neighbors any effects on their areas will be minimal.
Gary Harrison, president of Grosse Development, said the goal is "a total mixed-use community." People who live there will have a variety of employment and commercial opportunities - including food stores - within walking distance, he said.
"As far as we can tell, this is the largest mixed-use development ever built in this county," said Mark Isaac, project manager for Psomas and Associates, a Southern California-based engineering and consulting firm.
"The area it encompasses is larger than the Fort Union shopping area and is probably comparable to South Towne," he said. "We will also have one of the largest multiple-family developments approved in Salt Lake County in the past few years."
But there's a lot more significance to the project than just size and economic development revenues, said Wayne Harper, West Jordan's economic development director.
"This is the community of the future," he said. "Instead of having people live in one area and shop and work somewhere else . . . this will be the one place where somebody can live, work, shop or recreate in one single location.
"Developing these kinds of communities . . . is where urban design is going," he added.
A key benefit of such planning, Harrison added, is a reduction in traffic and pollution by cutting back on vehicle trips.
He also said having the airport and rail spur at Jordan Landing is a major incentive for firms seeking a home for their commercial and industrial businesses.
Another unique aspect is that Jordan Landing is being done without costly financial incentives such as sales tax refunds, tax increment freezes or land write-downs.
In addition, the developer will advance the funds for city roads and increased waterline sizes, waiting until the area develops to recoup the impact fees. "We didn't ask West Jordan to come up with any upfront money," Isaac said.