Development agreement puts The Point on path to have first occupancy by 2027
Phase 1 of The Point was made official as the the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority signed an agreement with Innovation Point Partners on Monday, marking the beginning of the 600-acre development.
About 150 people gathered to watch as the papers were signed and the agreement was made by Alan Matheson, The Point executive director; Lance Bullen, Colmena CEO; Kip Wadsworth, Wadsworth Development Group CEO; and Patrick Gilligan, executive vice president of the Lincoln Property Co., the lead developer for The Point The backbone infrastructure of the site will begin next spring with the first buildings going up in 2025 and the first occupancy occurring in 2027.
The Point will be a mixed-use development to be built in phases, with the first phase including housing, outdoor trails and green space, a promenade for shopping, a variety of dining options, a central park and other commercial properties. The housing options will include single-family homes, “affordable housing,” condominiums and apartments.
Gilligan said affordable housing is a priority for the development of The Point because they want to provide a place where people from a variety of income categories can live, whether they are just getting out of college or working at the restaurants nearby. “Being able to have sort of a myriad of different price points for housing is important,” he said. It is important that those working in the neighborhood can also live there, he explained.
Congressman Burgess Owens, who attended and spoke at the event, said, “The most important thing is let’s make sure we can build a culture and a society in a way that our kids can stay. That’s the end game. Let’s make sure they can afford to stay around and build generation after generation; that’s what my goal is. So thank you, my friends; I appreciate it. And just know that we’re doing everything we can to make sure we support you guys back in D.C.”
The development replaces the Utah State Prison, which was closed and demolished after a vote by state lawmakers in 2015. The entire development is located inside of Draper, “So, we’re very excited today,” Draper Mayor Troy Walker said.
The only remaining building on the property that was formerly the prison is the chapel, which was built by inmates. Walker explained they saved the church because, “It seemed fitting. Utah was founded by a church and it was a place that inmates and people went to get a little solace from the things that they had to deal with as inmates.” The chapel will remain part of the city, although the use is yet to be determined.
Sustainability is a key aspect to the development of The Point and is being expressed through public transit, scooter and electric bike rentals, and walking and biking trails to lower the use of cars and carbon emissions. All of this combined will reduce traffic generation by 30%, Matheson said.
In addition to the other public transportation plans to reduce traffic and be environmentally friendly, there are plans for a FrontRunner station near the included park, Gilligan explained. “Having transportation is critical to the success of any site,” he said.
Matheson said the public transportation system for The Point has been designed by the Utah Department of Transportation and Utah Transit Authority as a regional transit system. The beginning of the transit system will be added during Phase 1 of The Point. He added there are current plans to extend the transit into Utah County to connect with existing transit plans in the valley.
“So, this truly is trying to connect the region to make it easier for people north, south and west to get there,” Matheson said. “We think it’s also important to have a sustainable development, so we’re building a place that will use less water, less energy, improve air quality. It’ll be a place again where there’s housing affordability.”
Part of Phase 1 is the “River to Range,” which Matheson said will be a “Great place to gather and exercise to get to and from this site without getting in a vehicle.” It is a trail that will connect the Jordan River Parkway Trail to regional trails east of Interstate 15, Matheson explained.
Gilligan explained those living there can basically walk out of their back door and be on the trails. “We think that’s going to be a really unique piece of the overall puzzle,” he said.
Added Owens, “There’s nothing like Utah. What we’ve done here is going to attract so many people. We’re going to be the destination for folks who finally see that Utah’s the place to come to visit. They’ll come here, they’ll visit, they’ll leave their money, and they’ll go home and maybe come back and find a home here.”
The property is currently owned and will continue to be owned by the state, Matheson said. Muriel Xochimitl, spokesperson for The Point, explained that the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority has the authority to oversee the use of the land and “has entered into a 99-year lease agreement with Innovation Point Partners to lease the land located within the Phase 1 boundaries.”
Matheson continued to explain that, over time, the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority will enter into long-term ground leases with developers who will pay rent on the parcels they develop. Matheson said leasing out the land to developers instead of selling it to them benefits the entire state, and especially taxpayers, in several ways. “One, the state maintains land use authority over the projects, so we can ensure that the public vision actually gets implemented,” he said.
Another advantage, Matheson said, is that the state will receive a long-term revenue stream. In addition, he explained, “It’s designed so that those lease rates will increase as the value of the property increases. So, the investment in the project will be returned with an increasing return on the lease payments, and then at the end of the day taxpayers still own the land and will own all of the improvements on the project — the buildings that are built and the infrastructure.”