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POINT OF THE MOUNTAIN

 

Rarely does a region have an opportunity like this.

The Point of the Mountain area, extending from Sandy to Lehi, is well situated to become an economic powerhouse for a growing high-tech economy. Already home to many high-tech firms, the area is located midway between the University of Utah and Brigham Young University and is surrounded by rapidly expanding housing for all pay scales. Significant potential also exists for outdoor recreation, with the Jordan River Parkway. With the right vision, this location could generate billions of dollars in economic growth for Utahns. In addition, if planned right, the Point of the Mountain area could encourage sustainable growth, reduce driving, and improve air quality.

Much of this potential exists even with the Utah State Prison in place, but the anticipated relocation of the prison opens land that could be used to catalyze the growth of the entire area, providing the site characteristics that will appeal to employers and employees. The value of the prison site is largely dependent on the economic success of the entire surrounding area, and the economic success of the surrounding area is dependent on a forward looking plan for the prison site.

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A region that is a draw for innovation and talent.

With the right vision and execution, the Point of the Mountain area can become an internationally-acclaimed job center, as well as a place with a high quality of life. But if the right steps are not taken, today’s economic successes may cause tomorrow’s challenges and failures. Indeed, transportation challenges already exist. Infrastructure is essential to build a dynamic economic hub, but it is not sufficient. Success will require a vision that is powerful enough to galvanize support and investment, a full analysis of the best practices and lessons learned from successful economic hubs across the country, and a plan that extends far beyond the necessary infrastructure.

Perhaps more than anything else, achieving the area’s potential will require proactive, collaborative planning across jurisdictions and sectors. Key stakeholders must be brought together to establish common goals and strategies. With the stakeholders working together, the result can be much greater than what might happen with each stakeholder working separately.

Key stakeholders include:

  • Local government (Salt Lake County, Bluffdale City, Sandy City, Draper City, Riverton City, Utah County, Lehi City, Saratoga Springs, and others)
  • Existing employers in the area (e.g., eBay and Adobe)
  • Transportation agencies (UDOT, UTA, WFRC, and MAG)
  • Economic development groups (GOED, EDCUtah, Salt Lake Chamber, Utah Valley Chamber)
  • State legislature
  • Major landowners (e.g., Thanksgiving Point)
  • Educational institutions

A public visioning process guided by experienced industry leaders.

The Point of the Mountain Development Commission has chosen Envision Utah to carry out the Point of the Mountain visioning process. This process will revolve around public input and collaboration and will be driven by research and careful analysis. Envision Utah's team is comprised of some of the most experienced consultants in the country to tackle topics that will be key in the region’s development. The Commission and Envision Utah very excited to work with stakeholders and the community to ensure that the Point of the Mountain region reaches its full potential as a high-tech center while preserving the unique features that current residents love about the area.

We are in the midst of the first phase of the project, which emphasizes stakeholder input and public outreach to identify the existing assets, challenges, and opportunities in the Point of the Mountain region. This first phase will include researching best practices utilized in tech centers across the world and will include compiling demographic, real estate, financial, and infrastructure data.

The second phase will be focused on scenario development and additional public and stakeholder outreach in order to determine which scenario best fits the region. This will include brainstorming workshops, cost and benefit evaluations, and the development of an overarching vision for the area.

The third phase will be focused on funding the implementation of the vision, breaking down the costs of implementing the vision and exploring public and private funding options for different aspects of the vision.