Gateway Tower West, the new office highrise on the southwest corner of Main and South Temple, welcomed its first tenants this week, space and defense contractor Cordant Technologies, better known by its former name, Thiokol Corp.

Spokeswoman Lauren Sides said most of Cordant's headquarters people, around 90 employees, have completed the move from Ogden this week and now occupy the 16th and 17th floors of Gateway.Work is still continuing on the 18th floor, the building's penthouse, which James R. Wilson, chairman, president and CEO, and other top Cordant executives will occupy by the end of this month.

Cordant also has leased the 15th floor for future expansion, a total of 62,000 square feet for the four floors.

Sides said morale is generally good among the headquarters employees who have made the move from Ogden.

"I think most people are pretty happy. It's a wonderful location and really nice offices with new furnishings and a beautiful view. There's always problems in making a transition like this but it's going well."

Some employees have chosen to keep their homes in Ogden or other areas of Weber and Davis counties and commute to Salt Lake City. Others have or will relocate their residences to Salt Lake.

It helps, said Sides, that the company announced it would be moving well in advance - December 1995 - and offered to pay moving expenses for any employee who wanted to relocate to Salt Lake.

New employees, such as Sides, simply moved to Salt Lake early on and now don't have to commute to Ogden. Sides joined Cordant earlier this year from Detroit, where she worked for Ford Motor Co. She says she likes it here even with the reconstruction of I-15.

"As hard as the highway department tries to maintain the roads in Michigan . . . well, let's just say the highways here didn't shock me. They're not that terrible."

MarketStar Corp., also known as MStar, has signed a 10-year lease on the six-story building in Ogden which Cordant is vacating and will make it the outsource marketing services company's international headquarters. It expects to have some 500 employees working there by the year 2000.