June 5, 2014

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Watch Out for West Valley City

By Heather Stewart

June 5, 2014

In just a handful of years, West Valley City has experienced explosive commercial development—not only in the Valley Fair Mall area, but along the western edge of the city, where new retailers and restaurants now thrive along the 5600 West corridor.

“It’s blowing up, it really is,” said Mark Nord, RDA director for West Valley City. “We’ve had two really big project areas that have really blown up in size, and the growth that is occurring there is exciting, and it’s obviously catching on as we’re having different retailers, different restaurants, all bidding to get in on that 5600 West corridor.”

The city recently celebrated the groundbreaking for a new industrial development located near 6800 West and the 2100 South Frontage Road. When built out, the campus will have 2.3 million square feet of industrial storage, warehousing and distribution space. Nord said the park, called ARA, is projected to bring 3,000 new jobs to the area.

The ARA development is a project of Freeport West, which currently owns and manages 40 buildings in Salt Lake City and Clearfield.

This industrial park—and the workers it will bring to the area every day—will only increase demand for commercial development on 5600 West, said Nord.

“Three or four years ago, starting with the Winco, we started to see a lot of the major retailers in the United States focusing a lot of their interest on that 5600 West corridor—the reason being the tremendously high traffic count.”

5600 West is a main thoroughfare for West Valley City residents, who use the road to access SR 201 and other east-west corridors. Nord said the city has already widened 5600 West due to its traffic load.

Residents also hit 5600 West for shopping. Winco, Walmart, Kohls, and multiple restaurants and fast-food chains dot the corridor. The Highbury Center development, with Target as its anchor, has already attracted Kneaders, Firehouse Subs, Dunkin’ Donuts and Freebirds World Burrito. Currently under construction at Highbury are retailers like Marshalls, Maurices and Shoe Carnival.

A Cinemark theater is also under construction there and will open within a few weeks. “And there’s a lot more to come,” said Nord.

All of this growth comes on the heels of major redevelopment around Valley Fair Mall. The exterior of the mall campus has been transformed, with multiple new shops and eateries—not to mention a Megaplex Theatre. Going forward, said Nord, redevelopment will focus on the interior of the mall. Retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and Ulta are already signed on for that phase, he said.

West Valley City is the state’s second-largest city, with a population of more than 130,000. That population is growing, with new residential development filling in on the western edge of the city.

“Look out for West Valley City,” said Nord. “We’ve often been overlooked, but as more and more people are noticing, we’re the most aggressive, we’re the most development friendly, business friendly—and we really pride ourselves on being go-getters to go out there and make it happen.”

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