LEHI — Plans of CBRE Group Inc. will likely be put into action next month, building a business park called Traverse Ridge Center. Within those plans is a design to create the tallest structure in Lehi — a modest six-story office building.
Modest when compared to Lehi’s Frank Gehry The Point, the state’s tallest building project that stalled in 2010, CBRE representatives are working on a groundbreaking date for the 22-acre four-building business park south of the Timpanogos Highway and east of I-15.
“I think that area is really lacking in office buildings, not in retail. The first one, we’ll be breaking ground in May or June and we’ll go from there,” said James Mecham, CBRE vice president and exclusive leasing agent for the owner Perry and Associates Inc.
The Traverse Ridge Center I will be a 70,000-square foot Class A three-story building, and the next building will be the record breaker for the city.
Mecham said city leaders appeared excited about the project that is on track for a May 2014 completion date. While they do have prospective tenants, Mecham said discussions are still in the confidential query stage.
Mecham said construction is on the rise in Utah County, particularly in Lehi, and there are several reasons Perry and Associates chose Lehi for its estimated $60 million to $70 million project.
“Because of the growth in that area. I mean, Utah County is growing quite rapidly. You have Adobe there. The location attracts people from Utah County and Salt Lake County, plus it has fantastic views,” Mecham said.
Within walking distance of the property are Cabela’s, Thanksgiving Point, Factory Outlets, the Xactware construction and the new Adobe campus. UTA has planned a light rail station near the Traverse Ridge Center that will connect Salt Lake and Utah counties.
Calling Lehi one of Utah’s fastest growing cities, Eric Smith, CBRE first vice president, said the area is a magnet for high-tech companies and expanding businesses.
Another plus for the business office location was the mountain biking and jogging track planned nearby, Mecham said. There also is an intercity trail system that connects to the county trail system.
“I think it will really help,” Mecham said.
Other business parks are experiencing rapid growth west of the freeway at Thanksgiving Point. Two new technology companies, MultiView and MoneyDesktop, have announced their expansion to Thanksgiving Point business park MultiView is a leading online digital publisher and will be moving into the fifth floor of the Microsoft/MultiView building.
The expansion will result in the creation of 300 new jobs in Lehi.
MoneyDesktop is building a new 5-story, Class A office building at Thanksgiving Point. MoneyDesktop develops technologies that facilitate a clear understanding of personal finances and debt management.
Lehi administrator Derek Todd said the city is at 36 percent build out and there are several hundred acres for additional commercial development.
The business park growth is an enviable situation for most cities and their mayors.
Lehi Mayor Bert Wilson has to pause and catch his breath as he tells people how much business growth is happening in Lehi.
“The Traverse Mountain Outlets have gone in and that is phase one; and we are hoping in the next year, year and a half that we start seeing phase two going in,” Wilson said. “We’ve got Xactware that is coming in, there is a little hill now seems a little busy east of Adobe and we are going to have a bunch of employees right there. Adobe has got about 1,100 employees right now and we have new high rise buildings coming to town at Thanksgiving Park, so there is a lot of stuff coming in.”
A Popeye’s is getting ready to open right near Thanksgiving Point, he said, rattling off a few other fast food restaurants.
“I don’t think I can tell you about the hotel. I won’t tell you about that,” Wilson said.
Ask Lehi economic developer Doug Meldrum how the municipality is doing and he grins and suppresses a laugh. Most of what he would like to say is under contract or verbal commitment to not say a word about the who or what.
“It is a hard juggling act that we are faced with because we have signed nondisclosure agreements with a lot of companies and we can’t say anything. We are legally bound to not say anything,” Meldrum said.
How many nondisclosure agreements have Lehi leaders made?
“In writing, four. Verbally, probably twice that,” he said. Meldrum added that he was sure other cities had the same documents in place, and the companies are talking to several other cities at the same time. But he can’t say for sure. Those cities also have nondisclosure documents signed.
“I don’t know, they can’t say,” Meldrum said and laughed.