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No more 'sleepy' town

Farmington may get Dillards, PF Chang, 16-screen theater

FARMINGTON — No more sleepy little city. By early 2007, Farmington may be home to Dillards, PF Chang and a 16-screen Cinemark Theater.

On Wednesday, planners of a 450-acre development in west Farmington unveiled the names of several retailers who intend to build on their project site, known as Station Park.

Cinemark has already signed a letter of intent with Stonehenge Development Partners, a consortium of businesses planning Station Park. Dillards and PF Chang have just expressed interest in the site, according to Loyal Hulme, attorney for the Stonehenge group.

"This is without a doubt the best development of it's kind that Utah will see in coming years," said Hulme.

During an hourlong meeting with the Farmington City Council, Hulme and other presenters urged the city not to delay necessary approvals for the project. Cinemark will only build if approvals have been given and necessary engineering work is complete, said Don Harton, vice president of design and construction for Cinemark.

"To make this happen, we need to move quickly, aggressively," he said.

The Farmington City Council was presented with a list of requests from developers during Wednesday's meeting. One request was that the city reimburse project developer Rich Haws for the cost of building roads and other infrastructure.

The money would come from an $18.5 million RDA budget approved for Station Park.

Farmington Mayor Dave Connors said the city would "not slow" progression on the project. "We can promise you that," he said. "We're every much ready to go as the Station Park team is ready to go. We're not going to be a hinderance to you."

Connors said the city views Station Park as an economic boost, something that could bring class-A businesses to the Farmington.

Davis County and the state also see potential in the project.

Last Friday, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and his economic development team were presented with plans for the project. Huntsman's senior economic development adviser, Chris Roybal, said the project is unique in its location and scope.

"When you look at the site," said Roybal, "it's not only one of the premier sites of its kind in Utah, but perhaps in the western United States."

Station Park is planned for construction around the Park Lane interchange in Farmington. It's a site where I-15, U.S. 89 and the proposed Legacy Parkway will all converge.

The Utah Transit Authority is also building a station for commuter rail near the Station Park development. UTA has reached an agreement with Rich Haws and the Stonehenge development team to share parking for commuter rail with retailers building on the site.

By Oct. 1, Dillards plans to announce whether it has firm plans to build at the site. Cinemark is currently negotiating terms of a lease with the Stonehenge development team.