LEHI – The groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for Building 6 at Thanksgiving Park had all the usual amenities — the brunch buffet, the pavilion, the shovels and hardhats.
The dignitaries in attendance, however, outshone the gold on the shovels – new State Governor’s Office of Economic Development President Val Hale, State Sen. Mark Madsen, State Rep. Jake Anderegg, Coldwell Banker representatives, MoneyDesktop founder and CEO Ryan Caldwell, and Lehi city officials.
“You know, when Brigham Young and the pioneers landed in Salt Lake Valley, he said, ‘This is the place,’ but he was looking south at Point of the Mountain when he said that,” Lehi Mayor Bert Wilson said.
The ceremony wasn’t just celebrating the groundbreaking for a building, nor was it the official announcement of MoneyDesktop moving to Lehi — it was a celebration of a business boom, the likes of which the area has never seen.
The United States Census Bureau recently released data showing that the City of Lehi was the fifth fastest-growing area in the nation.
Rather than “This is the place,” as growth continues along the north corridor of the valley, “This is the tech place” may become a more appropriate description, as the area continues to attract companies including Adobe, AtTask, Microsoft, MoneyDesktop and Xactware.
“There is more development happening in Utah at this interchange in north Utah County than typically happens in the entire Intermountain West and other city locations,” said Nathan Ricks, managing partner for Thanksgiving Companies.
Anderegg said he hopes to see groundbreaking for tech companies two to three times a week for the next decade. After the laughter died down, it was apparent that, according to others who spoke, he may get his wish.
“This really is the jewel of Utah right now economically, and we are very fortunate to have city government, county government, state government who are so friendly and forward thinking and support economic development,” Hale said. “Right now this is the epicenter, but we are hoping to continue to grow throughout the entire state.”
MoneyDesktop, based in Provo, will be the anchor tenant of the new building. Upon the building’s completion the company, founded in 2010, will occupy approximately 60,000 square feet of the 145,000-square-foot, five-story structure. The project is set for completion in the summer of 2015.
A provider of mobile and online banking-based personal financial management solutions to banks and credit unions, MoneyDesktop has nearly 500 banks on its platform. The company will occupy the top and first floors of the building.
Caldwell began his search for a new site for his business in May 2012.
“The delay was that we wanted to make sure we had exactly the right location,” he said.
Frontrunner is within walking distance and provides transportation for both Utah and Salt Lake counties, enabling MoneyDesktop to recruit talent from both north and south along the Wasatch Front.
“It was really important to us to be located along Frontrunner and have a hotel close by and having other tech companies close by,” Caldwell said.
Cathy Allred is north Utah County reporter for the Daily Herald and can be reached at email@example.com.