Drawing By The Sorenson Group
The Herriman Towne Center will feature mixed-use retail and some 2,000 housing units, including condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes. Some units will be completed in early 2009.

HERRIMAN — New construction may be disappearing from many west-side cities in Salt Lake County, but here, where a newly announced, billion-dollar development is waiting on the horizon, the situation is drastically different.

The Sorenson Group announced plans this week to build a bonanza of development in Herriman's soon-to-be Towne Center project — with a new City Hall, school, county recreation center, county library and courthouse at its core. All totaled, the project — which should begin within 90 days and finish its phases in 10 years — will occupy more than 375 acres in the heart of Herriman.

"Herriman is a very vibrant, growing community in the county," said James Lee Sorenson, CEO of The Sorenson Group. "We've developed a great relationship with Herriman where there is mutual trust and respect. We work together and we understand their needs and goals. They understand some of the challenges and needs that we have."

The Sorenson Group, which developed the Rosecrest area of Herriman, donated 27 acres where Herriman's new City Hall and the newly named J.L. Sorenson Recreation Center will sit in coming years. The development company also donated land to Salt Lake County for a library.

In exchange for donating the land to Herriman, The Sorenson Group will receive allowances to build the residential/retail portion of their project at a higher density.

An estimated 2,000 housing units will be completed as part of the project, including condominiums, townhouses and single-family houses. Some of the units will be completed early next year.

"One of the things that has made Herriman as successful as it has been, I believe, is our perspective of viewing development from a corporate, municipal partnership," said Mayor Lynn Crane. "We have certainly enjoyed that kind of relationship with Rosecrest from the beginning, and they have a wonderful presence in our community."

Construction on the Sorenson Recreation Center should begin by the spring of 2009, to be completed in 2010. The southwest regional project stalled for nine months because the county's original site conflicted with Utah Department of Transportation plans to build the Mountain View Corridor through the area.

Construction on the library should begin next year, said Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon.

"This project really is a recognition of the growth that is taking place in the southwest portion of Salt Lake County," Corroon said. "The growth has happened quickly, so I think we've recognized that growth and are trying to meet that need as quickly as possible."

Corroon said the project is a "better way to plan" because it brings a variety of civic buildings to one central location so residents won't have to travel to multiple areas across the city.

"I think, in Utah, this is a great example of forward-thinking," Corroon said. "It almost hearkens back to the past, to the European-style planning where the town center is the focus and the community builds up around it."

The project will be situated on Main Street, near 12600 South, in the center of Herriman. Aside from 45 acres of retail space and 52,000 square feet of office space that will be included in the development, the Towne Center project will also have 20 acres of recreational space, with a proposed one-acre lake, ice skating rink, splash park and movie theater.

When it is completed, the project could change the face of Herriman, which had an estimated population of about 15,000 people in 2006, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, but Crane says residents are supportive of the development.

"Obviously, interaction with the residents often creates comments ... from people that were attracted here for a certain reason, and many of them came here a few years ago when there weren't as many people and there wasn't as much noise," Crane said. "You get those kinds of comments, which are natural and normal, but ... in general, this concept and this development have generated as much excitement in our city as any development or proposal."

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