The Larry H. Miller Company intends to put at least $3.5 billion into a mixed-use development on Salt Lake City’s long-overlooked west side, including a potential Major League Baseball stadium.

The company and the Miller family unveiled renderings and videos Thursday for what they say will be a transformational investment and catalytic project for the city. State and local leaders, including the governor, support the plan.

The Power District development includes the Utah State Fairpark and improvements to the Jordan River. The LHM Company is working with the Fairpark board, Salt Lake City, the Jordan River Commission and the state to incorporate various community master and land-use plans into the project.

The planned multifunction, mixed-use development will feature green space and trails, a beautified Jordan Riverwalk, innovative residential options, a focus on local dining and retail and, if the Millers’ pursuit of a big league expansion team is successful, a ballpark. It will be walkable, bikeable and transit connected, according to the company. 

The nearly 100-acre site sits between the Salt Lake City International Airport and downtown and is bordered by I-80 and a light rail, as well as the Fairpark and Jordan River.

“We are passionate about this once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our capital city,” Steve Starks, CEO of the LHM Company, said in a press release. “This project will serve as a vibrant extension of and gateway to downtown Salt Lake, complements the mission of the State Fairpark and brings the Jordan River to life.”

Starks said it would be a gathering place for Utahns to live, work, play and “enjoy the best views” in baseball.

The Larry H. Miller Company and Miller family unveiled renderings for the Power District, a nearly 100-acre site adjacent to the Utah State Fairpark and the Jordan River, Feb. 15, 2024. Here is a view from Archuleta Bridge looking north toward the Power District. | Larry H. Miller Company
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The LHM Company is pursuing a major league expansion team for Salt Lake City. A group called Big League Utah, made up of prominent state, community and business leaders, is supporting the effort.

Thursday’s announcement didn’t include specific details about the proposed ballpark. Big League Utah recently said it envisions a year-round, multiuse stadium for all kinds of events from sports to concerts to community celebrations.

Construction of a ballpark would likely include some public investment. State government officials are averse to diverting taxpayer dollars directly but have acknowledged tax increment financing or a public-private partnership could be options.

Gov. Spencer Cox reiterated his support for using tax increment financing Thursday during his monthly PBS Utah news conference. He also said he’s open to possibly raising the hotel tax in Utah, saying that’s an area where “discussions and negotiations” are going on now.

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Larry H. Miller Real Estate is working with Boston-based Sasaki, an internationally recognized urban planning and community design firm, on the Power District development. The project is scheduled to begin in late 2024 with the construction of a new headquarters for Rocky Mountain Power.

Steve Miller, board chair of the LHM Company, said the project is an investment in human capital and will bring infrastructure and economic and educational development opportunities to the area.

“Our family is committed to this project and is humbled by the rallying of community support around this initiative,” he said. “We are invested in this area because we believe in creating enriching experiences.”

The LHM Company and community leaders see the project as a catalyst to revitalize the west side.

“One of the beauties along the North Temple corridor is the vibrancy and diversity of cultures. This generational investment will make a huge difference for the whole state of Utah. It truly reflects the changing demographics of our state,” said state Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City.

The Larry H. Miller Company and Miller family unveiled renderings for the Power District, a nearly 100-acre site adjacent to the Utah State Fairpark and the Jordan River, Feb. 15, 2024. Here is a view from Fairpark looking south towards the Power District. | Larry H. Miller Company

A large majority of west side Salt Lake City residents are people of color, with Hispanic/Latino residents representing the largest group at 48%, according to University Neighborhood Partners at the University of Utah. The west side has a median household income of $49,000, compared to $74,000 for the state as a whole.

The Fairpark neighborhood is among several neighborhoods that make up the city’s west side. In recent years, those areas have been facing gentrification, with rental and housing prices skyrocketing. Several new apartment buildings are under construction but longtime businesses have gone under.

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Some residents say the apartments are ruining the community and displacing families of color and family-owned businesses, while others see the residential projects as tackling the city’s housing shortage.

Salt Lake City Council member Victoria Petro said the Power District project will allow the area’s culture and unique qualities to shine while creating new infrastructure and business opportunities

“If we do this right, it catalyzes what’s already happening on the west side,” she said.

Isaac Atencio, who owns Salt Lake Barber Co., grew up in the west side’s Rose Park neighborhood. Last year, he opened a new shop in the Fairpark area in a building that sat vacant for a decade. He’s opening an adjacent coffee shop next month.

“I think it’s kind of been a neglected sibling in terms of all the other neighborhoods for so long. But truly, Rose Park, Fairpark, the west side as a whole has been Salt Lake’s best kept secret for quite some time,” he told the Deseret News in a recent interview.

Atencio hopes to inspire others to fill up empty storefronts.

“In our case, we’re trying to amplify that message by showing that all you need is a catalyst for a few businesses to open in an area,” he said. “Once you do and have that local representation, it makes the difference.”

Maria Garciaz, CEO of NeighborWorks Salt Lake, a nonprofit that facilitates community and business development, said there have been a lot of broken commitments and promises to west side residents for years. But she said the Millers have “some really thoughtful” plans for their major investment.

“I think what I appreciate about them is that they are talking to the community about what they want and what they don’t want,” she told the Deseret News in a recent interview.

The Miller family’s ties to the west side go way back. The late Larry H. Miller and Gail Miller graduated from West High School, and Gail Miller has said she has deep affection for friends and neighbors in the area. Larry Miller also played softball on a field across the street from the fairgrounds that is now a gravel lot.

“I grew up on the west side, and the people who live here are very proud of their community and what they’ve built. We are excited to continue to partner with them on future opportunities,” Gail Miller, LHM Company co-founder, said in a statement.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said she appreciates the focus the Millers have on facing the Jordan River, “not turning their backs on it. Bringing the Jordan River into the Power District experience will be an incredible, fascinating, beautiful asset for Salt Lake City and beyond.”

In December, Big League Utah announced plans to create a team foundation to benefit west side community priorities if the city lands an expansion franchise. The group created honorary and community advisory boards whose members include the governor, state and local Republican and Democratic politicians, and business leaders.

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The Larry H. Miller Company and Miller family unveiled renderings for the Power District, a nearly 100-acre site adjacent to the Utah State Fairpark and the Jordan River, Feb. 15, 2024. Here is an aerial view of the Power District looking southeast. | Larry H. Miller Company