June 5, 2014

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Northern Utah Regional Report

June 5, 2014

The University of Utah has purchased 14 acres immediately adjoining us to our west. We are integrating that into our project. It will be seamless, and there will be a 200,000-square-foot medical center and some additional buildings out there.

We have been focused from the beginning on bringing new, better, different tenants to Davis and Weber to provide the northern area shoppers an alternative to getting in their car and going to Salt Lake City. If you look at some of the tenants we have, Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar, if you try to get down there on Friday and Saturday nights now, it’s a challenge because of how the community has embraced them.

While we are 93 percent leased, we’re about 70 percent occupied. So during the balance of 2014 you’ll see another 20 to 30 retailers open along with a host of office tenants. We’re about 50 percent leased on our office space. We’re excited at seeing the retail market in Davis County really expand and grow.      

STEVENSON: A lot of times there can be competitiveness among cities. But in Davis County it’s important that the entire county is developed. The things that are taking place in Farmington are not only good for Layton but the whole county because of what it can do to help spur things on throughout the counties. Clearfield talks about the aspects of what they’re doing with their park over there. That’s wonderful also.

In Layton, we feel like as the commercial center of Davis County that one thing we have to do is resolve our traffic problems. If anyone’s ever tried to get to the mall, especially during holiday seasons, it’s probably one of the most difficult things in the state to try to accomplish. Hopefully the transportation committee will fund the project to replace the interchange there along with a couple other projects they’re doing. If that happens in the next couple years, that will again open up that area to not only what exists there already, but also to enhance and grow some more business there.

We are now to a point where we have a limited amount of areas for commercial development, and we are being very selective in who we have come into our community. My goal is that when we put a retailer in, we definitely want it to be someone who is going to bring people from outside the area into our community.

If I can tie Layton to Hill Air Force Base, we realistically have the largest employer in the state of Utah. How many jobs does Hill fill during a given year? In 2013, how many new jobs came in?     

FLINT: The depot work is going to bring probably 2,000 jobs. So the fighter wings are going to be somewhat fixed in the number of people they bring in, but the depot work and the maintenance work that’s going to be done on the F-35s is going to be very important. That’s going to be a sustained workforce, and it’s only going to grow over the next five or six years.     

MILLHEIM: While Station Park is very successful now, somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of the money being spent there is not coming from Farmington. We’re the beneficiary and we’re grateful for it. But the fact is, Davis County, and Weber to a lesser extent, has been undiscovered for a long, long time. Now we’ve got these tech cells and aerospace cells.

We’ve got to look for those opportunities, because what helps cities and what helps economies is diversification. We sit here and worry to death what may or may not happen with Hill because we would suck wind if we lost that base. But the reality is, we’ve got to say, is our economic engine in order? Is our housing engine in order? Is our transportation engine in order?

It’s Davis County’s turn in the sun. We can’t squander that opportunity. It can’t be business as usual. It’s not about Farmington, it’s not about Clearfield, it’s not about North Salt Lake. It’s about us all.

JOHNSON: Ogden’s going to have one of the greatest opportunities to showcase itself during the open house of the temple, which will be happening in a few months. We’re estimating about 500,000 people will come to Ogden. It’s a great opportunity to showcase a town that’s woken up and has been reinventing itself and has come alive. Ogden has a lot of interesting diversity and panache that most other Utah cities don’t have.

We also have an undiscovered asset in the airport. The Ogden airport could be a whole lot more than it is. We’ve got some money from the legislature to do an economic study out there. It is a gem that will benefit the entire county, maybe both counties, if we take advantage of it.      

J. EDWARDS: Ogden has become event central in Northern Utah. We have great events coming. We have the national masters cycling championship that will be here. Some of these events that are coming will help establish us in the outdoor retail industry.      

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