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'River Centers'

Throughout the past 15 years the Jordan River corridor has been under relentless attack by commercial real estate developers.

Their tactics are simple.  First they buy undeveloped land, usually farm land, at perhaps $35,000 per acre.

Then they demand that cities upzone the land from agricultural to commercial zoning status.  If cities resist because the land is programmed as open space or park land in their masterplans, the developers threaten to sue.   They also frequently hire former city administrators and planners as their lobby team, creating a continuously revolving door between public office and private profits.

Once the the rezone has been seduced or coerced out of local officials, the land is worth up to 5 times more than the developer paid for it, resulting in instant profits in the tens of millions of dollars ($19 million on the upzone alone in the case of RiverPark Corporate Center case study in South Jordan.)   The developer then either resells it to another developer, or builds on it himself.  Typically the developer also demands and receives massive taxpayer subsidies in the form of low-interest loans, direct subsidies, or reduced property taxes.

Since 1996, no less than 23 such massive commercial projects have been constructed, are being expanded, or have been proposed and greenlighted by city planning commissions, within the Jordan River "corridor" (essentially, its historic meander corridor.  Typically these great monuments to entrepreneurship march right to water's edge within the river's active flood plain.

Here's a list of the flood plain properties that have been developed since 1996, which are currently under construction, or which are currently on city planning drawing boards.

At this point virtually every large block of open space on the river has been intensely developed;  in some cases these developments are nearly 1,000 acres in size and essentially comprise new cities within cities of up to 10,000 residents and workers.

Note:  to see photos of these massive commercial complexes, click on the project name.

Recent and Future Commercial Centers on the Jordan River 
(Based on Envision Utah List for Blueprint Jordan River with more recent projects added)
No. Name/locale  Acres  Category Proposed Use and Current Status
1 Jordan River OHV Park, 2500 North, North  Salt Lake       156 Commercial sports center Land purchased with federal Land and Water Conservation Fund money specifically for the purpose of flood water banking has been transformed into a 160-acre maze of motorcycle race tracks by a for-profit concessionaire.  Status:  Moonscape
2 Salt Lake City "Regional Athletics Center", 2200 North     140 Commercial sports center Currently targeted for 18 commercial ("pay for play") soccer fields, 8 baseball diamonds, and a "soccer stadium" large enough to seat 3,500 to 7,500 spectators, vast areas of parking, a redesigned freeway interchange on I-215,  3 new roads, 2 new bridges across the river.  Funded almost entirely with taxpayer dollars, the site is located within the active flood plain of both the Jordan River and Great Salt Lake, on lands flooded with several feet of water in the last large flood event.  Status;  currently under construction;   100% over budget for just 50% of the original project scope.
3 Rose Park golf course, 1500 N., Salt Lake City     169 Possible Mixed .Use facility Possible sale of lands along Redwood Road for commercial use.  Status:  currently under study by Salt Lake City for possible downsizing or decommissioning. 
4

NW Multipurpose Center Expansion, 300 N, Salt Lake City

      67 "Neighborhood Center" This project entailed the doubling in size of a community center building with the addition of a second recreational building.   Status:  The project was completed at a cost of $14.8 in 2010.
5 Utah State Fairpark, N. side of N. Temple, east bank   11 "Transit Oriented Development" Entire site reportedly purchased by billionaire real estate developer Del Loy Hansen, owner of the REAL Salt Lake Soccer team, for $18 million, in early 2015.  Hansen proposed to  fully occupy the site with a second new soccer stadium for the REAL Salt Lake "farm" or "B" soccer team.  Status:  Sweetheart deal with Real Salt Lake mysteriously fell apart as suddenly as it came together;  Fair Park property off the hook, for now.
6

North Temple TRAX, S. side of North Temple, E. bank,Salt Lake City

      67 Transit-Oriented Development

 

Transit Oriented Development, , City Creek "daylighting".  Status:  City Creek daylighting appears dead after city, county, state and federal taxpayers forked out $35 million for a quid-pro quo rail line realignment that Union Pacific demanded in exchange for U.P. agreeing to relinquish a rail line right of way that supposedly would be used as the approach to the river by the daylighted stream.  Meanwhile, plans for a massive new "Transit-Oriented Development" center on the site are barreling ahead.  Artist conceptions show four to five story high office towers crowded right to river's edge, in plain violation of the city's 100-foot streamside development setback ordinance.
 

7 Glendale "Oxbow" site, 900 S., Salt Lake City       15 "Neighborhood Center" supermarket, youth center, library and/or residential housingStatus:  project was cancelled and is now being redeveloped into a nature park.
8 Glendale S., 1350 S., Salt Lake City         9 "Neighborhood Center" (retail and/ or housing) supermarket, housing/ redevelopment of California ave east to 900 West.  Status:  possible future project but unlikely in this location
9 Glendale Golf Course, 1700-2100 S., Salt Lake City     194 "River Center" Possible closure or reduction of Glendale golf course with sale of lands along 2100 South for commercial use.  Status:  currently under study for decommissioning and repurposing into a combination of commercial and "active recreation" use, which could include water parks or sports stadiums as well as "natural" open space.
10 "River Row", 2100 South, South Salt Lake       30 "River Center" Recent river-adjacent office complex on west side of river;  replace Workman Park with a UTA maintenance facility.  Status:  completed 2012
11 "Jordan River Marketplace", 3300 S., West Valley City       26 "River Center" (Mixed use) New road , Jordan Marketplace shopping center, 700,000 square feet of retail and dense residential space in  22  buildings  Status:  Project terminated due to funding problems in 2013;  likely to be reinitiated
12 "Big Cottonwood Confluence", 3900-4500 S., Murray/Taylorsville     215 "River Center" Expand existing office complexes at  Cottonwood Creek confluence (E. bank) and Sorensen Center Office Complex (Taylorsville)  office complex is on W. side;  might be expanded into Murray on E. side.  Status:  proposed future project.
13 "Little Cottonwood Confluence", 4800 S., east bank, Murray/Taylorsville  ?  "River Center" Redevelopment, "mixed-use", Taylorsville community center, recreationalStatus:  proposed future project.
14 "Bingham Junction" (Sharon Steel/Midvale slag pile Superfund Site), 7200 S., Midvale & West Jordan     700 Transit-Oriented Development New trax station surrounded by 700 acre complex with over 300 buildings crowded to river's edge including a 100+ room hotel, 140-acre big box store strip mall, 150 acres of dense residential buildings to house a new town of 7,000 people.   Status:  under construction.
15 "Gardner Village", 7800 S., West Jordan  ?  Transit-Oriented Development expansion of Gardner Village shopping center.  Status:  proposed future project
16 "River Oaks Center" 9000 S, Sandy/West Jordan     175 "River Center" Mixed-use commercial centerStatus:  proposed future project.
17 "Riverwalk" luxury home subdivision, 10200 S., South Jordan City 35 Residential New housing subdivision of some 75 new homes built down into river flood plain to river's edge Status:  Completed 2010.
18 Mulligan's Golf Course  10000-10600 S, S. Jordan City       67 Transit-Oriented Development  S. Jordan plans to convert 67-acre Mulligan's Golf course into a commercial center consisting of 16 office buildings, 2 parking structures and 22 condo blocks buildingsStatus:  S. Jordan's "Save Mulligan's group is fighting this project every step of the way.

19

"River Park Corporate Center" 10600 S., South Jordan City     100 "River Center" Proposed 30% expansion of existing "mixed use" River Park Corporate Center which already features 6 corporate office buildings up to 5 stories high and totaling 1.7 million square feet of floor space, a shopping mall,  vast areas of parking, new roads and other associated infrastructure  Status:  still expanding
20 Springview Farms Subdivision, 114600 South, Bluffdale 258 Residential 348 1/4 to 1/2 acre lots, $325-$600,000 custom homes, maze of new roads Status:  proposed expansion to West bank will tightly constrain Jordan River on both sides
21 Vista Fronter Station, Draper     145 Transit-Oriented Development "Mixed use" facilities around Frontrunner station (shopping center, office towers, condos, parking) surrounding new Frontrunner rail station;  encompasses Ebay and Edwards Lifesciences buildings, 1.8 million square feet of office space and 216,000 square feet of retail space. Approximately 20 percent of the project will be devoted to residential use;  at least 21.8 acres of open space (15%)  Status:  currently under construction
22 Bluffdale Prison Site Redevelopment, 13500 South, Blufdale,     700 Transit oriented development;  dense residential, retail, office park 5,000 high- and medium-density residential units, and nearly 9 million square feet of office space in addition to retail, research and development and other uses.   Status:  prison location currently being hotly disputed.
23 Thanksgiving Point Front Runner Station, Lehi     700 Transit-oriented development More trophy homes, "mixed use" commercial center expansion surrounding Front Runner station and existinhg facilities.  Status:  ongoing build-out from 1996 to present;  rapidly expanding
24 "Pioneer Crossing" 8570 N/Lehi Main St 8570 North, Lehi/Saratoga Springs  ?  "River Center" large new commercial development along the new Mountain View Corridor Road (?) "mixed-use" (shopping center, office towers, condos, parking etc.) replacing existing open space   Status: uncertain
         
Total Area

3,912

  Plus additional acres for projects where data not available as yet.