If all goes as planned with the new downtown area of Vineyard, there could be well over 30,000 and possibly up to as many as 60,000 people living citywide within the next 10 years or so. Mayor Julie Fullmer said they would all be welcome.
“Our model is about being inclusive,” Fullmer said.
That means the walkable downtown with at least 5,000 living units planned could include everything from upscale homes to pocket neighborhoods of tiny homes for veterans, seniors and others on a limited income.
For Fullmer, the most important thing is that designs for the new walkable and bikeable downtown have been approved, land is being cleared, roads will be laid next year, and financing is secured.
“The FrontRunner station will open within the year,” Fullmer said. “We’re hoping for August but most likely November.”
Jake McHargue, city manager, said the new downtown area is north of 800 North and the Vineyard Connector and west of the railroad tracks to Utah Lake. It is about the same size as all of Park City, or from 300 South to 500 North and from about 700 East to 500 West in Provo.
The look and feel of the city is expected to be a variety of exterior designs from perhaps a Brownstone with a stoop on one street and a craftsman of colonial style in another area. No matter where, Fullmer said it will be inviting, pedestrian and bike friendly. Vehicles will have terraced parking areas as well.
“We want people to know they have a home here and it is a different kind of community,” Fullmer said. “We’ve already started building and provided funding is available to start putting in roads,” Fullmer said.
Those roads will go in starting next year. Thanks to about $360 million in funding that triggers in 2021, it will finish cleanup of brownfield grounds and lay infrastructure.
Fullmer says that will all happen because of a collaborative effort between private landowners and public entities.
“The site is amazing,” Fullmer said. “Roads will go in first. Main roads for bus lines and then green spaces.”
Fullmer and the Vineyard City Council are pooling efforts to get the best designers and information on the economics of building the town they can find.
Wise economics is critical, along with good planning and also understanding people’s needs in a community, Fullmer said.
“Our whole council is being divided into economic groups and are working on bringing specialists to Vineyard to help with those specific concerns as they grow the city.”
There are certain things the mayor knows she wants and that includes top notch transportation options.
“We want to be a platinum level city for biking. We are looking at Amsterdam for that,” Fullmer said.
Vineyard is working on developing sister city projects with areas that have bike and pedestrian friendly roads, architecture and gathering places like plazas for residents. Two of those are in the Netherlands and Singapore.
For a look at plaza ideas Fullmer wants in Vineyard’s downtown she said residents could Google the Kansas City Country Club Plaza.
There is a complete retail center, new library, city building, and civic auditorium planned. Fullmer said they are anticipating dredging the harbor.
Blocks are 400 feet long rather than 1,000 feet like in Provo. The esplanade is 250 feet wide from FrontRunner to the Lake. Retention basins are designed with small zig-zag rivers and green spaces.
Fullmer said to look for things to really start building up within the next two years. Until then Fullmer, McHargue and the council will be working hard to make sure this new part of town is done right.