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AM.F. BUSINESS PARK TO GET ITS 1ST BUILDING

For five years, only bugs and critters could call the field known as the Utah Valley Business Park home.

Those inhabitants may have to scamper for new space when ground is broken for the park's first building this spring.Woodbury Corp. of Salt Lake City intends to construct a 24,000-square-foot office building in the park. Negotiations are under way with three possible tenants, whom Keith Sorensen, director of development, declined to name.

The North Valley Investment Group, which includes Woodbury, owns the 90-acre park.

"It's going to be a high-end office building," Sorensen said. "We want to set the tone for it as a business park, not a manufacturing park." Sorensen hopes the building acts as a catalyst to attract others to the area.

Mayor B. Kay Hutchings is delighted to see something happen to the weed patch.

"Hopefully, it's going to provide some jobs. That was the intent from the beginning," he said, adding that as teh park grows, it will impact the area's economy and population.

"American Fork will be a focal point no question," Hutchings said.

Until a recent sprucing up, weeds overran the park. Trees and grass were planted near its 500 East entrance late last year. Also, two concrete walls, one along I-15, the other on 500 East, will bear the park's logo. A fountain will be incorporated into the wall near the freeway.

Deals to place several companies in the park the past two years have fallen through. Sorensen said until now, the timing to build hasn't been right

"We've decided this is the year to get things kicked off," he said. Favorable interest rates are one reason for the decision.

But pressure from American Fork might be another. The city was in danger of having to repay nearly $200,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds because the park was sitting idle, Hutchings said. The mayor said that cost would have been passed on to Woodbury. There is nearly $1 million worth of infrastructure in the park.

Hutchings said the city hasn't spent any money on the park. It was created as a redevelopment district and also designated as a special improvement district.

More landscaping will be done parallel to the freeway and there is also talk of a hotel or motel locating in the park, Hutchings said.