North Utah County: 2014 growth causes ripple effect

Utah Land

LEHI — With northwest Utah County maintaining its position as one of fastest growing for single-family homes in the nation, new businesses have been emerging as well.

A man of many embargoed secrets, Christmas presents appeared to be delivered monthly in 2014 to Doug Meldrum, Lehi city economic director.

“We anticipate growth to remain strong through 2015 and plan on adding several more businesses and restaurants to our already growing housing development,” Meldrum said. “We plan on seeing some new development west of the river in north Lehi as well.”

A list of businesses that have made a significant impact in Lehi for 2014 are: Blender Bottle, Hilton’s Home2Suites, Marriot Courtyard, Museum of Natural Curiosity, Oracle, Phase 2 of the Outlets, Utah Community Credit Union, Vivint, and Xactware.

“For the businesses, they create wealth for a community and the families that work and reside in our community,” Meldrum said. “We have also added several much needed restaurants in Lehi this year.”

The UCCU building is especially significant said Westland Construction Project Manager Frajk Morgan.

“This is a great project; we’re really excited,” Morgan said. “This will be the tallest building in Lehi.”

Seven stories high with an additional underground floor, it’s likely the tallest building in north Utah County too.

A hub of restaurants have opened in Lehi, west of the Interstate 15 Thanksgiving Business Park interchange: Carls Jr., Costa Vida, Cubby’s, J Dawgs, MoBetta, Popeye’s, Smash Burger, Zaxby’s and Zupas.

A McDonald’s is under construction north of the Timpanogos Highway and west of The Outlets at Traverse Mountain. Chuck A Rama opened east of the I-15 Lehi Main Street interchange.

The explosion of businesses in Lehi includes many others like the Porsche dealership under construction north of the UCCU building.

Neighboring cities have benefited from the growth economically as well with many years of preparation completed by city staff and elected officials.

AMERICAN FORK

The city has several businesses establishing in American Fork.

Councilman Rob Shelton said the Dick’s Sporting Goods and the Field and Stream going in south of Gordman’s in The Meadows is probably one of the biggest economic developments ushering in the new year.

“It’s supposed to bring in 230 jobs and approximately $230,000 in tax revenue,” Shelton said.

There is also an Intermountain Farmer’s Association development being built east of Costco in Lehi on American Fork property and Zaxby’s Restaurant broke ground recently.

“BioLife Plasma will be one of the first to open in the new IFA center,” Shelton said. “There are a few restaurant pads and other commercial businesses.”

A new Starbucks will be going in where Parker’s Drive-in was. CVS Pharmacy is building north of Starbucks and the other side of State Road. The much celebrated Timpanogos Pinnacle Ice Skating Rink additionally has its official grand opening pending.

Shelton said he has high hopes for 2015.

“To keep the momentum going right now, to continue to build job relevant services for residents and our community, and to continue to build or economic base,” Shelton said. “We will take all the tax revenue we can get.”

CEDAR HILLS

For smaller cities, economic growth isn’t about businesses so much as savings and revenue.

With a population of about 10,000, the city of Cedar Hills refinanced its 2006 Utility Revenue Bond to reduce the interest rate from 4.52 percent to 2.68 percent. This is the third city bond to be refinanced at better terms during the past two years.

“This will amount to a total net present value savings of approximately $402,000 over the life of the loan with actual cash savings being approximately $496,000,” said Jenney Rees, Cedar Hills council member.

Another positive move, the Vista Room at the Cedar Hills Community Center realized an approximate 60 percent increase in rentals compared to 2013.

As is expected, some future commercial plans are under wraps. Additional commercial development including a credit union and two retail pads has been approved and will begin shortly.

EAGLE MOUNTAIN

Economic highlights for bustling Eagle Mountain are the opening of Ridley’s Market/Ace Hardware/Starbucks, the first chain retail in the city; the first United States Postal Service option in the city with a service counter that recently opened inside of Ridley’s Market; additional tenants for Porter’s Crossing Retail Center announced to open in early 2015 including a Subway restaurant and Central Utah Clinic — Family Medicine, Urgent Care, and Women’s Health/OBGYN.

“One of [Economic Development Corporation of Utah’s] top five projects in the state has Eagle Mountain as their top choice for a location in Utah, competing with another location out of state,” said Linda Peterson, Eagle Mountain spokeswoman. “A decision is expected in early 2015.”

Residential development is also booming again. During 2014, 13 final subdivision plats were approved for a total of 422 lots/units. Three preliminary plats were approved for a total of 2,477 lots/units.

HIGHLAND

“The only thing we have going on is CVS Pharmacy,” said Nathan Crane, Highland Community Development director. The pharmacy project manager is starting to build in January at the crossroads of state roads 74 and 92 on the northwest corner in Highland.

“We haven’t had any significant development in 2014,” he said.

For 2015, Crane said a mid-size to large retail user or some offices: doctor, dentist, any kind of office would be great.

LINDON

Lindon’s Hugh Van Wagenen said a few developments in the city were significant for 2014.

NOAH’S Event Venue broke ground along 700 North in Lindon for their 20th building nationwide and should be open for business in mid 2015.

Profire Energy continues to grow their Corporate Headquarters in Lindon and have expanded an additional 40,000 square feet in their current facility in 2014.

The Lindon City RDA installed more than 3,600 linear feet of landscaping and sidewalk improvements along shovel ready sites in the technology park located along Lindon Park Drive and 400 South.

SARATOGA SPRINGS

America First Credit Union was approved early this year and is now open, said Owen Jackson, Saratoga Springs spokesman.

“Café Rio is close to opening,” Jackson said. “Harvest Point Commercial subdivision does not have businesses yet, but have worked hard on installing roads and other infrastructure.”

Unique Auto Body has started site construction, the Anderson Engineering office building opened, Talus Ridge is under construction and is located on the south side of Sunrise Meadows, and the city approved the completion of the Riverbend Townhomes project.

Cathy Allred is north Utah County reporter for the Daily Herald and can be reached at heraldextra.ca@gmail.com.