Geoffrey Mcallister, Deseret News
In July, Craig Tottier, vice president of development of CenterCal Properties, stands behind a 3-D model of what Station Park will look like when finished. Station Park will be a massive mixed-use development located along side the FrontRunner train station in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — So what if the earth movers, graders, steamrollers and front-end loaders jumped the gun by a week? It's about time that developers officially began work on Station Park, a mixed-use development on 62 acres right next to Farmington's FrontRunner station.

Wednesday, while the yellow machines worked, officials and business leaders gathered for an official groundbreaking ceremony.

"We've been waiting for something like this for a long time," said Farmington Mayor Scott Harbertson.

Sometimes it takes a little patience when you're building what might be the biggest retail center in the state.

Developer Rich Haws began buying land in 1996 to build what's known as a transit-oriented development, or TOD.

TODs are popular because they give commuters a chance to spend money as soon as they get off of a train or other mode of transit. It's the same reason gas stations like to locate next to freeway offramps.

From 2000 to 2006, Haws began working with Farmington to develop the site but eventually sold the land to California-based CenterCal Properties, which is the current developer of the site.

CenterCal CEO Fred Bruning said Station Park, with its power center of retail stores, and village area with restaurants, movie theater, ice skating rink and fountain, will put Utah on notice.

Bruning predicts people will come from all over the Wasatch Front to shop at Station Park, and he hopes they'll use mass transit to get there.

Once complete, the $200 million-plus center will include a 130-room, six-story hotel, about 60 shops and 10 to 15 restaurants.

So far, the preliminary tenant list for Station Park is impressive, especially for Farmington: a 16-screen Cinemark movie theater, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, J.C. Penney, Ross, Staples, Petco, Lane Bryant, Sports Authority and Bed, Bath and Beyond, all within walking distance of the FrontRunner parking lot.

CenterCal is currently in negotiations with retail and restaurant tenants, some of whom will be new to Utah, said Craig Trottier, CenterCal vice president of development, recently. The developer will also eventually begin leasing office space, as well.

Crews are working on building an offramp that will feed directly into Station Park from Park Lane. And architects are pursuing design standards to earn LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

CenterCal expects to open Station Park in the spring of 2010.