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Will Lindon site turn into a retail hot spot?

SHARE Will Lindon site turn into a retail hot spot?

If local developers get their way, Lindon will become the newest one-stop, retail and entertainment hot spot in Utah County.

A planned 700,000-square foot, $70 million shopping complex containing a 22-screen theater, a hotel and a variety of restaurants and retail businesses would drastically alter the landscape in the heretofore quiet southwest area of Lindon and provide a significant windfall for city coffers.EsNet Management Group, a Provo-based real estate firm that developed the Riverwoods shopping center, is working with Johansen-Thackeray Co., of Salt Lake City, to build the complex, located just off the I-15 exit in Lindon.

EsNet owns the 90 acres between 400 West and 800 West and between 200 South and 1600 North in Orem that are set aside for the project.

Construction is scheduled to begin later this summer, and it could be completed as soon as the spring of 1999. Construction on the infrastructure, including water, sewer and roadways, has already begun.

EsNet officials believe the area will be an attractive site for shopping, dining and lodging.

"It should be a regional draw, countywide," said Dan Campbell, managing general partner at EsNet. "It's a great location. Being close to a freeway offramp, it's very accessible."

Campbell said EsNet is in the process of negotiating agreements with a number of companies that have expressed interest in setting up business in Lindon. Campbell said EsNet is not prepared to disclose which companies are involved in the negotiations.

The site for the complex includes the newly constructed Home Depot store, scheduled to open June 25. To the north, the first phase of a "technology park," another EsNet development that will hold a group of technology-oriented businesses, is also under way.

While the shopping center will translate into hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to the city, not all the ramifications of commercial growth will be good. Ever since the center was proposed by EsNet months ago, city officials have been concerned about the increase in traffic and crime the complex will bring. But most of those fears have been allayed, said City Manager Ott Dameron.

Dameron said engineers hired by the city have studied the area and are taking steps to mitigate potential traffic flow problems. Lindon officials have also met with the Pleasant Grove Police Department, which contracts public safety services with the city, to discuss crime concerns. Pleasant Grove has requested the hiring of three additional officers for the upcoming year, Dameron said.

All in all, Dameron said, the positives of the complex outweigh the negatives.

"The revenue stream that will be created will allow the city to do other projects," he said. He added that the location of the center, along the southern border of Lindon, is far enough removed from the body of the city that many residents won't be affected by increased traffic and activity.

Dameron is watching the progress of the proposed complex cautiously. Two years ago, a shopping outlet was publicly announced at the same site, but it never materialized. Still, he remains optimistic.

"If this all happens," he said, "it would be a real boon to the city."