One of Utah’s most prominent companies has struck a deal to acquire land tied to Salt Lake County’s largest planned mixed-use development and is expecting to help usher in an era when another 20,000 people move to the west bench of the county.
Sandy-based Larry H. Miller Real Estate — a subsidiary of the LHM Group of Companies — announced Monday the acquisition of Daybreak, a master-planned community in South Jordan from Värde Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We look forward to building on the already established success of this community with the remaining undeveloped commercial area and the thousands of residences to be built within this regional destination area,” Steve Starks, CEO for the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, said in a news release.
The agreement involved the purchase of more than 1,300 undeveloped acres, as well as an ownership interest in some existing commercial assets and future commercial development in addition to remaining undeveloped residential property.
“There will be an additional roughly 6,000 homes and then there could be up to another 20,000 residents, then a big commercial area that will be called Downtown Daybreak,” he said.
The transaction does not include existing homes within the Daybreak community and other specific assets.
“The Daybreak acquisition aligns perfectly with our real estate development and property management capabilities, and our team’s proven ability to collaborate with our partners to deliver innovative solutions in the communities where we live, work and recreate,” said Brad Holmes, president of Larry H. Miller Real Estate. “This transaction creates an opportunity for Larry H. Miller Real Estate to not only expand our real estate footprint and holdings, but to also creatively and proactively address regional growth through mixed-use planning and development.”
Värde Partners acquired Daybreak land holdings in 2016, and since then home sales increased from approximately 450 early on to over 1,000 per year, the news release announcing the sale stated.
Along with new housing components, commercial uses were also developed, including the expansion of the University of Utah Medical Center campus, the South Jordan Veterans Administration Clinic and a new Salt Lake County library that is scheduled to open in the fall.
Currently, Daybreak is made up of an array of urban units, workplaces, shops, cafés and dining establishments, as well as outdoor recreation opportunities.
“Salt Lake County is proud of the progress and successes within the Daybreak community,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “We see a large portion of our growth taking place in this area and look forward to working with Larry H. Miller Real Estate and other stakeholders to develop plans that support job growth, open spaces and recreation, strong infrastructure and community destinations.”
Starks said plans for future development will continue to focus on long-term sustainability and managed growth that will utilize multimodal transportation options, a range of housing choices, local employment opportunities and open space. Additionally, there will be efforts to bolster biodiversity, water conservation, energy-efficient infrastructure, along with supporting education as well as diversity and inclusivity.
While this latest deal may seem like a bit of a departure from LHM’s typical business ventures, Starks said the acquisition does align with the corporation’s long-term strategy for community development.
“This was an intriguing opportunity because the future of real estate is very strong in Utah. Fortunately, we’re a state that’s a magnet for people from around the country who want to move here. We liked getting involved in this industry because it projects to be strong for the foreseeable future, it diversifies our portfolio and then it really fits with our mission to enrich lives,” he said. “It is an opportunity to invest and do something that we’re really proud of and then work not only on the Daybreak project but in the surrounding area as well. To help ensure that the west bench and that surrounding area can can grow and develop in a way that will bless those that move into the state, those that relocate there and make it a continually wonderful place to live, to raise a family, to go to work, to recreate — all of those things.”
He said current plans are to look at developing in a manner that accommodates all of the new residents expected to move to the west-side area in the coming years.
“We recognize that growth is something that’s just going to continue to occur, and that’s a good thing. We just want to do it right, so for us the collaboration with local government leaders, with the community, with the residents is really important,” Starks said. “We believe that we’re positioned to be able to help get it right. One of the things that’s unique about that community is that it represented a significant masterplan community that I think has changed the way that development is occurring all across the state and because of that commitment to open space and sustainability, the design standards for the homes are really important.”