June 5, 2014

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Northern Utah Regional Report

June 5, 2014

PARKER: At Freeport Center, we have over 7 million square feet, and right now we’re at 100 percent full. Obviously aerospace has a lot of our space. They probably occupy about 24 percent. Lifetime occupies about 34 percent of our space.

There are about 7,000 employees at Freeport, and the current thing we’re working on is transportation and parking, and we’ve been working with UTA to find some other options to transport those employees. We’re a stone’s throw away from FrontRunner, but to walk it’s over a mile. So we need to get a little creative with that.

LENHARD: At the Clearfield FrontRunner station there’s a 70-acre parcel that’s owned by UTA. There’s a joint venture taking place between UTA and Zachary Garn Company. All the entitlements are in place for that project. It’s going to be a mixed-use development, about 950,000 square feet of commercial office space and then 550 residential units. They expect to break ground in July. It will create 1,600 jobs, and of those jobs, we anticipate about 900 will be new to the county.

B. EDWARDS: North Salt Lake has more heavy industry than most cities of our size. It’s really hard for us to keep track because they’ve developed and expanded, and they just come and get a building permit and then all of a sudden they’re adding employees.

One of the most exciting things we have is the partnership with UTA, with the county, and with Bountiful and Salt Lake, and the fact that we have the South Davis County connector study going on, where we’re hopefully going to create transit from downtown Salt Lake up through Bountiful.  We’re already seeing interest.

We’re only about three years out from being completely built out residentially. And we do have some vacant parcels that we’ve been struggling to get developed. We have worked that relationship with UDOT where we’re hopefully going to get a connection for Legacy Highway out of North Salt Lake. And they’re also redoing 2600 South, which is the main artery going into the refineries and to the oil industry support groups there.

In addition to that, we created an EDA for Orbit Irrigation. With the help of the county, they’re going to reshore a number of jobs in China back over to Utah and expand their production line there. We have just got that finished and put the final approval on the tax participation agreement. We also created another CDA and a URA on Redwood Road area to clean that up.

ELDRED: We’re growing anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 employees per year in Davis County. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state at about 3.6 percent, which could be good and bad. But it means employment is robust in Davis County.

LARSEN: The most important thing for Weber County’s future in terms of economic development is really to take a page out of Ogden City’s book. It’s developed an effective business plan for growth and economic development in Weber County from a regional perspective as opposed to just one or two of the communities. We’re in the infancy stages in developing that plan. And critical to that is deciding not just how we want to grow but where we want to grow and developing solutions for the things that need to be in place, like infrastructure. So that’s our overriding No. 1 strategy and goal for our efforts in economic development.      

Would you take a minute and talk about Summit?

LARSEN: The Summit Series organization was successful in acquiring the Powder Mountain Ski Resort last year. Powder Mountain is the largest ski resort in terms of skiable acres in the entire country—nearly 10,000 acres of skiable area at Powder Mountain.

Summit Group is very effective at marketing and promotion. One of the key things that Summit brings to our region is the tech class and the creative class. They’re a very vibrant and youthful organization, and their development plans are well underway based upon the development that’s been approved earlier this year. The initial phases of the development will bring on about 500 units. Critical to that development is bringing on multiple hotel contracts. The county is participating in a tax incentive agreement in order to get the infrastructure in place necessary for hotels to launch expansion, mainly infrastructure and natural gas, fiberoptics, roads, water and sewer.

What is going on with ATK?

MURDOCK: ATK Aerospace Structures has over 800 employees; we added almost 200 employees this last year. We’re planning on adding another 350 to 400 employees over the next three years just to ramp up schedules for programs that we already have in house.

We’re the main supplier for wing skins for the F-35 program. Lockheed Martin wanted to have four suppliers of wing skins; they tried to diversify and wanted to make sure there was competition. Because of the work that we’ve done, because of our people’s capabilities and some of the slipups maybe by some of our competitors, we were guaranteed 30 percent of that program if we invested, and we own 80 percent of the wing skin program now.

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