What was once the site of the Utah State Prison is now being touted as one of the "great economic and quality of life opportunities" in the history of the Beehive State.

State and local officials on Tuesday gathered at the Utah Capitol to announce the selection of a development partner as well as share more plans for the first phase of development of The Point.

The Point is pitched as a living-working community that features high walkability, with everything within a 15-minute walk from its heart, a river-to-mountain range trail accessible from the community and a mixed-use community including retail, entertainment, innovation, educational, office and residential spaces, according to the plan's framework.

The plans call for about 40% of its developable land — 600 acres in total — to be devoted to housing, or an estimated 7,400 residential units. The rest would be for offices, retail, mixed use and an "innovation district" with a focus on schools, education and business development.

It is estimated to serve up to 15,000 residents and 40,000 workers.

Alan Matheson, executive director of The Point, was on hand Tuesday to make three major announcements related to the future of the massive economic venture.

The Hub

Now that the bulk of the planning framework is out of the way, Matheson said that The Point is moving forward with phase one of development by focusing on what will be known as "The Hub."

"This is kind of right in the center of the project. It has elements that represent what the public said they wanted. It is kind of a microcosm of the broader project," Matheson said.

The Hub will include retail, entertainment and restaurant spaces, as well as residential and office spaces.

Matheson encapsulated it as being "a place where people will gather."

A rendering shows the outline of The Point framework plan.What was once the site of the Utah State Prison is now being touted as one of the "great economic and quality of life opportunities" in the history of the Beehive State and on Tuesday, leaders behind the project unveiled its next steps.
A rendering shows the outline of The Point framework plan.What was once the site of the Utah State Prison is now being touted as one of the "great economic and quality of life opportunities" in the history of the Beehive State and on Tuesday, leaders behind the project unveiled its next steps. | The Point

"It will accommodate people from all walks of life, all stages of life," Matheson said.

He emphasized the focus on transportation, noting the anticipated completion of the connection of Porter Rockwell Boulevard through the site and the walkability that has been a cornerstone of The Point since the beginning.

Draper City Mayor Troy Walker echoed Matheson's sentiments, saying, "It is our goal that this will be a place where the car is not king. This will be a place where transit can be the king — this is an opportunity for us to really focus on the future."

"Open space is a big deal. That river-to-range trail that catches everybody's attention, connecting the Jordan River Parkway to the Corner Canyons area and to the regional trails east of I-15 — these are features that we think people will come to love and the plans will evolve over time, but these are features that really came to us from the public," Matheson said.

Development partners

As he hinted previously, Matheson confirmed that The Point has agreed upon a "conditional selection" of the phase one master development partners.

For the project, the board selected Lincoln Property Company, Colmena Group and Utah-based Wadsworth Development Group to carry out the mammoth development project.

The Utah State Prison in Draper is pictured on Tuesday. Lincoln Property Co., Colmena Group and Wadsworth Development Group have been named as developers of the first phase of The Point, which will be built on the prison site.
The Utah State Prison in Draper is pictured on Tuesday. Lincoln Property Co., Colmena Group and Wadsworth Development Group have been named as developers of the first phase of The Point, which will be built on the prison site. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

As of now, these partners have only entered into negotiations with The Point team, but will be the choice assuming they can reach a development agreement, Matheson said.

He said that the selection process began in December and that they received applications from all over the country before selecting the three finalists.

"At the end of the day, we've made a selection that the board is very comfortable with and we're excited to move forward," Matheson said.

The Focal Point

Many major development projects around the world have a defining feature and Matheson said that the public has made it abundantly clear that they want something similar at The Point.

Enter, "The Focal Point."

Matheson said The Focal Point will be "an iconic defining feature at the site."

The Utah State Prison in Draper is pictured on Tuesday. Lincoln Property Co., Colmena Group and Wadsworth Development Group have been named as developers of the first phase of The Point, which will be built on the prison site.
The Utah State Prison in Draper is pictured on Tuesday. Lincoln Property Co., Colmena Group and Wadsworth Development Group have been named as developers of the first phase of The Point, which will be built on the prison site. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

He announced that they will be starting a survey process stretching through the end of August, giving the public an opportunity to share their ideas on what they would like the feature to be — whether it be a piece of architecture, a sculpture, landscape art — the public will be the deciding voice.

"That process will help us as we move forward, engage in a competition with design professionals and eventually get something that I think all of us in Utah will say, 'That represents us,'" Matheson said.

The public can access the survey here.

Other voices

In addition to Matheson, other state and local politicians involved with the project were at the Capitol to speak about the project.

Utah State Rep. Jefferson Moss, R-Saratoga Springs, serves as the executive director for The Point's innovation district and said that he believes the project as a whole is innovative.

Speaking to the innovation district, he said he hopes it will serve as a driver of economic development for "many generations."

Preliminary figures from the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority in partnership with the University of Utah Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute estimate an initial public and private investment of about $200 million — along with billions more in anticipated investment from the private sector — would generate about $6.9 billion in GDP for the state, $4.7 billion in personal income and up to 47,000 jobs.

The Utah State Prison in Draper is pictured on Tuesday. Lincoln Property Co., Colmena Group and Wadsworth Development Group have been named as developers of the first phase of The Point, which will be built on the prison site.
The Utah State Prison in Draper is pictured on Tuesday. Lincoln Property Co., Colmena Group and Wadsworth Development Group have been named as developers of the first phase of The Point, which will be built on the prison site. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

"We want this to be a very strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, a place where a lot of activities happen and a lot of ideas are happening," Moss said.

Additionally, Catherine Kanter, deputy mayor of regional operations for Salt Lake County, said that The Point will include affordable housing for folks of varying income levels.

"One of the issues we're deeply concerned about in Salt Lake County is affordable housing," Kanter said.

In his closing statements, Matheson said that those working on the project feel a "heavy" weight of responsibility while representing the residents of Utah to make sure they "take the investment that they're making and provide a return."

"Certainly an economic return, but also a quality of life return for those (and) for those who will follow," Matheson said. "We're committed to make that happen."