Developers Tuesday unveiled their dramatic vision for a new high-density community that will combine thousands of new homes with shops, restaurants, parks, office towers and several stunning natural attractions at the site of Utah’s old prison in Draper.
Plans for the first 66-acre phase in the heart of The Point bring the most detailed details yet of one of the largest public projects in state history, including a 1.4-mile green space stretching from the river to the mountains along of the Jordan.
This landscaped corridor will connect to a new 6-acre “Central Park” to the north of the massive development, anchoring nearly 40 acres of smaller parks, green walkways and connecting paths at The Point that will reach each home and office within two kilometers . Block way in the green.
New schemes also feature a wide and walkable boardwalk that will serve as the community’s main thoroughfare, lined with up to 220,000 square feet of space for retailers and restaurants along the river.
That will be tied to a sizable dining hall called Taste of Place with a variety of indoor and outdoor dining options, as well as a regional entertainment district with multiple venues and an extensive program with year-round programming.
The community’s economy, which is comparable in size to nearby Bluffdale, is fueled by more than 2 million square feet of office space and an innovation district operated with the support of Utah entrepreneurs, corporations and academia.
According to Abbey Ehman, a spokeswoman for Innovation Point Partners, the consortium of development firms partnering with the state, development at the point will be among the most densely populated in all of Utah, rivaling downtown Salt Lake City.
This group of developers — consisting of Lincoln Property Co., headquartered in Dallas; Colmena Group of Salt Lake City; and Wadsworth Development Group in Draper – was selected in July to build on years of public input from more than 12,000 residents on what The Point should look like.
Green community built on transit, on foot
Along with a pedestrian-friendly approach to the overall design, amenities at The Point will be tied to first-class transit. It will also focus on multiple modes of transportation — with everything from walking, scooters and bikes, to the possibility of self-driving buses on a circulation route — as well as parking spaces designed to accommodate people, said Matt Howell, also with Innovation Point Partners reach out of their cars.
Conceptually, Ehman added, The Point also focuses on a mix of land uses, with no more than half of the space dedicated to residential use and houses being closely intertwined with commercial spaces.
She and others said the blended approach – and reliance on two planned transit stations serving The Point on a purpose-built TRAX extension – was central to The Point’s success.
“What you’re seeing here,” Ehman told members of the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority, “is the mix of development and density with recreation and open space because they coexist so well.
“So you can visit The Point and walk between all these experience elements and you really haven’t traveled very far,” she added. “It’s all supposed to be centered together and coexist that way.”
Another key component will be the use of a variety of architectural styles and building materials and facades.
“We want it to feel more like an organic village that’s been delivered over time,” Ehman said, “not just a new construction project.”
The first phase design plans for The Point’s center were provisionally approved by the land authority on Tuesday morning while it continues to secure a development deal with Innovation Point Partners.
Due to a catastrophic shortage of affordable housing in Utah, the plans also call for more than 3,000 multi-family homes, all of which are currently designated as government-owned rental housing.
Up to 20% of these homes will be kept more affordable with the stated intent of creating a new community “for Utahans of all walks of life and walks of life.”
Phase one represents approximately 9% of the 600-acre site to be cleared after the state legislature voted in 2015 to build a new correctional facility west of Salt Lake City and open the old Draper prison site to future development.
The first phase will also provide a key infrastructure backbone for the remainder of the project, including critical road improvements to Porter Rockwell Boulevard at the heart of the development, which will likely mark the start of residential and commercial construction well into the next decade and beyond.
Vertical construction could begin by 2026
Demolition of the old prison began last month and will continue well into next year.
After installing critical utilities for The Point, vertical construction could begin as early as 2026, although officials say that will be flexible and dictated by market conditions.
“It’s more important to do the right thing than to do it quickly,” said Alan Matheson, executive director of the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority, which oversees the former prison compound.
“We want this to be absolutely vital in 50 years, not just five or 10 years,” Matheson said in an interview, “as well as exciting and important to the state of Utah.”
Matheson noted that the original plans also reflect deep Utah values that emerged during the project’s extensive publicity: a sense of community, economic opportunity, and a priority to sustainability.
The emphasis on transit aims to reduce air emissions in a part of the Salt Lake Valley that currently experiences heavy traffic congestion. Plans state that construction of the River to Range feature will also help restore natural ecological habitats and wildlife along the Jordan River.
The Point is to be built with world-leading sustainability standards in mind, officials said, with 100% drought-tolerant landscaping and a dramatic drop in water use compared to similar developments aiming to save the equivalent of 250 Olympic-size swimming pools of water annually.
A recent study predicted that the combined work at The Point could create as many as 46,500 jobs and $4.4 billion in annual revenue, resulting in an increase in Utah’s annual gross domestic product of nearly $7 billion per year. In phase one, 14,000 high-quality jobs are to be created.
https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/12/13/new-plans-point-central-park/ Salt Lake Valley to get a “Central Park” in The Point and much more