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Utah City panel discusses the development’s vision, gives updates on project

By Carlene Coombs - | Apr 26, 2024
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Bronson Tatton, Nate Hutchinson and BJ Laterveer, all with Flagship Companies Group, participate in a panel discussion on the Utah City development in Vineyard with Mayor Julie Fullmer moderating on Thursday, April 25, 2024.
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Construction on a residential building within Utah City in Vineyard is shown Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Construction on the west end of the Utah City development site in Vineyard can be seen Thursday, April 25, 2024.
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The east side of the Utah City development site with the FrontRunner station at the end, pictured Thursday, April 25, 2024.

With Utah City, a mixed-use development in Vineyard, currently under construction, Urban Land Institute Utah held a panel Thursday for industry professionals to discuss the design of the development.

The panel was moderated by Vineyard Mayor Julie Fullmer with three speakers from the Utah City project — BJ Laterveer, director of architecture; Bronson Tatton, director of planning and design; and Nate Hutchinson, co-managing partner.

Official plans for Utah City were first announced last September, and the 700-acre mixed-use development in Vineyard will focus on sustainability and walkability. The project is being built by Woodbury Corp. and Flagship Companies Group.

The development will include housing units, restaurants, entertainment, a grocery store and a cancer research campus headed by the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Representatives of Utah City also provided panel attendees with updates on the project as well as a site visit to see the construction that is underway.

Currently, two multifamily buildings on the west end of the property are under construction, and they will likely be ready by early next year, Hutchinson explained to attendees during the site visit. The buildings will have about 450 units. To the north of those buildings, the grading has begun on another residential building.

The new grocery store, which is currently being designed, will be located east of the residential building that is currently going up.

Down the center of the development, beginning at the FrontRunner station, there will be a pedestrian-friendly road made out of pavers with shopping on the side, Hutchinson explained. That road will transition into the promenade that runs through the rest of Utah City out to the shoreline.

During the site visit, Tutton said there also would be a boardwalk on the lake and that they hope to provide recreation access to the shoreline.

In starting the panel, Fullmer shared her excitement for the project, which is being developed on the old Geneva Steel land.

“We know that in order to develop and to redevelop and create a vision, we have to create something that’s really going to be an economic engine,” she said.

Tatton said early on in the planning, he saw Utah City as a “dream project” and said the city’s walkability and open space is what sets the development apart.

Tatton said Utah City is different than other similar developments in Utah because it is “truly oriented around transit,” while other developments are only adjacent to public transportation.

Laterveer added that the development planning is community-focused and not as focused on the commercial aspects.

“We’re truly creating communities and not just an outdoor mall like a lot of mixed-use environments are,” he said.

Fullmer also noted the development’s location is ideal, with its proximity to recreation like Utah Lake and various transportation options, such as the FrontRunner station and the continually expanding Provo Airport.

The Utah Transit Authority’s Long Range Transit Plan, which examines future public transit projects through 2050, lists a UVX extension project from Orem to Vineyard as a high-priority project, though it says an extension is contingent on more development in Vineyard.

Hutchinson spoke against the NIMBY — “not in my backyard” — attitude saying that with the growth in Utah County, density needs to be planned well to accommodate the population growth.

He added that they aren’t coming to “destroy the quarter-acre lot” life, but they are providing people with a choice in housing.

“So the housing type that we’ll be providing here, some people may not choose to live in a well-thought-out mixed-use community that we’re providing here,” he said. “The good news is we feel like there’s an ample supply of the other type of inventory for other people”

Laterveer said Utah City will have five different districts that each will address a different kind of housing or lifestyle, such as multifamily dwellings or condos with various amenities.

Another aspect of the development is sustainability, with Fullmer asking speakers about dealing with “finite resources” like water and power.

Tatton said they will be using water-wise plant materials, like native plants, and drip irrigation will be used in the landscaping.

“Just the nature of the compact development is reducing water use substantially,” he said.

Hutchinson said the focus on walkability and the compact design of Utah City itself allows the community to be more sustainable.

Utah City will have some open space as well, with Tatton pointing out a promenade that will run from the train station out to the Utah Lake shoreline.

Hutchinson said there will be various courtyards throughout the development with different outdoor experiences, like grills or gardens.

“We’ve got a lot of things and we’re working on trying to tie (them) together here and real excited about how spaces come together,” he said.


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