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South Salt Lake Breaks Ground on First Phase of ‘Downtown’ Master Plan

South Salt Lake—The city of South Salt Lake is often forgotten in the shadow of its sibling city to the north. But city and business leaders hope to change that with the kickoff of The Crossing, a new 235-acre mixed-use development that will lie squarely at the transportation hub of the valley.

South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood, city council members and representatives from The Boyer Company and Cowboy Partners held a groundbreaking on Monday morning to launch the first phase of The Crossing. When completed, the $45 million development is expected to include 2,500 multi-family housing units, 1.5 million square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 3 million square feet of office and commercial space.

WinCo Foods is the first tenant for the development, and Wood said construction on the grocery store should be completed by late 2017. Meanwhile, construction will begin on two multi-family housing communities, for a total of 250 units, being developed by Cowboy Partners. Together, the grocery store and the housing comprise the first phase of The Crossing development, which city leaders are dubbing a “new downtown” for South Salt Lake.

Wade Williams, development partner with The Boyer Company, said the prime location of the development creates a unique opportunity.

“If you were an archer and had target practice, and a map of Salt Lake City and Salt Lake Valley was your target, you’d want to hit the bull’s eye. And I think we’re standing today at the bull’s eye of the valley,” Williams said.

The property, which has been vacant for about four years, said Wood, is bounded by 2100 South and State Street. The area includes both I-15 and I-18, as well as connections to all three TRAX lines and the S-Line Streetcar. The multi-family housing will sit alongside the S-Line stop on Utopia Avenue, just off of State Street.

“It’s hard to believe that one time in our not-too-distant past, this was a place where they stored a large body of coal. So I think we’ve managed to turn coal I think into a real diamond here,” said Williams.

Planning for The Crossing began years ago, but was stalled by the Great Recession. A renewed effort picked up when the economy improved. Wood said that although the property was neglected, city leaders knew its prime location presented a great opportunity.

“We really wanted to design something special, and we decided that South Salt Lake needed a downtown,” she said. “We feel like we have one chance to do this right. When you have one chance to put a downtown together, you need to make sure that you have all the right components. … One thing we found out in talking to innovation districts throughout the country, that the one thing that they wish they had done differently was they wished they had gotten a grocery store first—and it was usually last—so then we really switched what we were looking for and focused on finding a grocery store first.”

Wood said South Salt Lake currently has only one grocery store serving the community. The new WinCo location will bring 150 new jobs to South Salt Lake, while increasing residents’ access to fresh groceries.

The Crossing will also include green space, said Wood, with parks and a Parley’s Trail connection that will traverse the development and connect with the Jordan River Parkway.

Gary Birdsall, president and CEO of the South Salt Lake Chamber, said he hopes The Crossing development will bring awareness that “there really is officially a city of South Salt Lake. A lot of people who drive down State Street have no idea, not a clue. This will change that.” He added, “It’s just another arrow in the quiver of how good this little city is.”

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