SPANISH FORK — City leaders are cautiously optimistic about a proposal to recycle an old garbage dump.

Early-stage plans call for construction of a large commercial center that could eventually include a factory discount mall on an adjacent site.

The commercial center will replace the manufactured homes that were removed from the former site of the Spanish Fork Ranch subdivision. The Utah County Health Department condemned the site two years ago after methane gas and garbage surfaced from the capped landfill, creating potential health hazards for residents.

Developer Leon Harward said that after the City Council rezoned the land for commercial and light industrial use, he immediately started working on plans for his Expressway Business Park — 60 single-story commercial units containing 450,000 to 500,000 square feet of leased office and warehouse space on 36 acres, about the size of 10 Salt Lake City blocks.

So far, the development at 1100 E. Expressway Lane is a go.

The Utah County Health Department gave its OK in October.

Plans for the site, which the City Council approved Nov. 18, call for recapping the landfill with gravel, reburying garbage unearthed during trenching and venting the naturally occurring methane gas that is common to landfills.

The health department and developers reached agreement months ago on how to handle methane monitoring and exposed garbage, said Boyd Stringham, solid and hazardous waste program manager. "As long as they don't step out of those parameters, it's OK," he said.

The park will be near Spanish Fork's existing business community just a couple of blocks off U.S. 6 near 800 North.

Site work has been ongoing for several weeks and the first building permit could be issued later this week.

The initial plan calls for nine buildings, but that could change, Harward said.

Small enterprises will be able to purchase 1,400-square-foot to 1,600-square-foot office or warehouse spaces, ideal for startup businesses, he said.

The new business park will incorporate the paved streets, curbs and gutters left from the residential subdivision.

The problems that plagued Spanish Fork Ranch will be fixed by installing vents under the concrete slab at each building and using pipes to expel the gas above the roofline.

Building pads will measure 6 inches in depth, while roads will have 6 inches of base and 3 inches of asphalt, Harward said.

Areas of the original clay cap not covered by the new materials will be replanted and used as open green space, plans say.

Garbage unearthed during trenching will be moved to a low area and used as fill. It will be covered with 2 feet of dirt or with the gravel seal, Harward said in a memo to Utah's Department of Environmental Quality obtained by the Deseret Morning News.

If built as designed, the project should be fine, city planner Emil Pierson said. "If he (Harward) can bring in startup businesses — that's great," Pierson said.

"Both the state (Department of Environmental Quality) and the county (health department) are OK with what they have planned," city engineer Richard Heap said.

View Comments

There is also talk of a 200,000-square-foot indoor mall — called Expressway Plaza — that would be located on land next to the business park on the corner of U-51 and Expressway Lane.

That project is not part of the initial plan and remains a twinkle in developer Harward's eye.

Harward said preliminary plans for the shopping mall call for 1,000 parking spaces and a general mix of stores, but no announcements will be made until the commercial center is 65 percent leased. Harward said he hopes to open in early in 2005.


Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.