WEST JORDAN Watching the neighbors move in across the street from City Hall has never been as exciting to West Jordan's city officials as it is right now.
To most eyes, there's not much to see but a few trailers and an empty lot. But to West Jordan, those trailers mean that TRAX is on its way and city officials hope that with it will come a lifeline to the city's lagging redevelopment project near 8000 South and Redwood Road.
"We're excited from this end because we're starting to see signs of progress that the project is in motion and will be happening soon," West Jordan spokeswoman Kim Wells said of the nearby growing staging site. The site will be UTA's headquarters for building the entire Mid-Jordan line. "It will be a key selling point, a key feature that will be very popular, especially as the line gets developed."
Once construction on the project begins, UTA estimates it will take between three and five years to complete the 10.6-mile line. Six of the 10 stops on the line will be located in West Jordan, but the route will run from 6400 South in Murray, west to West Jordan and south to South Jordan, ending at Daybreak. Costs for the project are still undetermined.
"We should be breaking ground on this in the coming months," UTA spokesman Brandon Bott said. "It's an exciting time."
A number of cities with redevelopment projects centered around TRAX stations are hoping the transportation system will come with financial benefits. West Jordan's Briarwood City Center redevelopment project has been slow to get off the ground, but lately interest in the development a mixed-use project with 300,000 square feet of retail, office and residential use has been picking up, said community development director Tom Burdett.
The redevelopment area was established in 2003, but the city is still looking for retail anchors to sign on to the project. Steve and Barry's, a national clothing store, submitted an application for a building permit for the area, but that's the only application the city has so far received.
"The momentum is gaining," Burdett said. "We are getting contacted by more developers within the last three months than we did a year ago, and especially now that the construction is beginning. I think the real estate community is responding and they're starting to see the potential that exists at this location."
The redevelopment project has 10 years left of its 15-year span, but Burdett says that time period could be extended. So far, the project hasn't brought any income to the city, but the city hasn't made any financial investments in the project, either."The vision is there," Burdett said. "And the tools are in place. It's just perfect for a developer to enter the scene now, especially now that TRAX is getting started."