This year, Utah was featured in the national spotlight as the No. 1 economy and one of the best states in the country for infrastructure and financial stability, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
As we look into 2022, we are confident our state will continue to lead the nation as we develop new economic and quality-of-life opportunities for Utahns. One of the state’s priorities to propel these opportunities forward is The Point, which is the new redevelopment project at the site of the soon-to-be-relocated Utah State Prison in Draper.
The Point consists of 600 acres of state-owned land that will foster innovation and technological advancement, provide parks and open space, support economic growth and enhance Utahns’ quality of life. Plans for the site will soon become a reality when inmates are relocated to the new state correctional facility in the summer of 2022. Utahns could not have asked for better timing to create this new economic hub.
Utah is uniquely positioned to establish The Point as the epicenter of our top-ranked economy. The Point lies in the heart of our state’s dynamic high-technology industry known as Silicon Slopes, and within the city of Draper, which has been recognized as the sixth best place to live in the nation by Money magazine. In addition, Utah has a young, educated workforce that is ready for additional options to live, work and recreate in the Wasatch Front.
The Point of the Mountain State Land Authority recently released the framework plan for The Point, a major milestone that reflected input from more than 10,000 Utahns. We are encouraged by the active participation from so many Utahns who shared their priorities during our visioning and planning processes.
The framework plan will guide future development that advances the public interest. As trusted stewards of the public’s investment in the site, we are proactively planning future development in a way that optimizes the economic and lifestyle return to all Utahns.
For example, the framework plan features over a dozen signature elements that directly reflect what Utahns said they want, including a new innovation district for advanced research and education, an extensive regional parks and trails system, and a balanced mix of land uses for retail, entertainment and housing options.
As co-chairs of the land authority, we are committed to world-class sustainability measures such as a state-of-the-art air quality lab, charging stations for electric vehicles, self-automated shuttles and a seamless public transit system.
The Point is designed as a “15-minute city” where residents and visitors can access all daily needs such as jobs, housing, retail, food, recreation and entertainment within a 15-minute walk from a transit stop. We expect The Point will become known globally and loved locally as “Utah’s Innovation Community.”
With so many important elements planned for The Point, it’s crucial that we select qualified development partner(s) who can bring the public’s vision to life. In the coming months, we will oversee an open, transparent and competitive selection process to identify private-sector partner(s) who have extensive experience in building large-scale, sustainable communities and who will promote the public’s interest at the site. The extensive vetting process will take several months, with the selection of the development partner(s) scheduled for summer 2022.
The Point is on its way to becoming a reality, and we expect it will provide significant economic and quality-of-life opportunities to Utahns for generations to come. We look forward to many more opportunities for Utahns to help us make The Point. For more information about The Point, visit thepointutah.org.
Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and Rep. Lowry Snow are co-chairs of The Point of the Mountain State Land Authority.