Article

Commercial Real Estate

May 6, 2013

BOUCHARD: Jeff, I agree with you that you don’t look at it strongly enough as an economic development play. What the state has to understand is whether it’s a state or city or how you form that, a partnership is going to be required to invest in future economic development. You can invest in it lineally in terms of EDCU and GOED and other things, or you can invest into your infrastructure. With what we have done with public transportation particularly, this is the next logical play. I mean, we just need to move to another stage

CORROON: We also need to convince the existing hoteliers that the rising tide will raise all boats because a lot of the opposition is coming from existing hotels who say, “Well, we didn’t get a subsidy,” or, “You’re putting tax dollars into a private development that will compete with us and that’s not fair.” Their argument is a good one, but at the end of the day I think a convention hotel will help all hoteliers in the valley.

Let’s shift gears and talk about the amazing confluence of things happening at the Point of the Mountain.

BYBEE: It’s been great to see the national attention in that little corridor. You guys have brought in several deals just in the last year from California, Texas, and they all know exactly who we are. They come in and they know where Lehi is on the map, and that’s been great. We just signed a deal with Solar Winds out of Texas, Pure Storage out of California, MultiView out of Texas. So we are seeing that come in.

Transportation has also been great the last couple of years where we have seen Mountain View Corridor finished. And then 2100 North capturing the bedroom communities and the employee force out west. Commuter rail this year has also been great. Ridership at our park has been high even though in wintertime you see people trekking through snow coming off a commuter rail. And the tenants are seeing a benefit from expanded recruiting, already coming north to reach both counties. But now being able to reach them on commuter rail has been a benefit. We have had a lot of CEOs or HR execs commenting on the fact that thankfully commuter rail is open.      

We still have a couple areas in transportation that we would like to see a little bit more attention given to—particularly the north Utah County area to help keep up with all of the demand and all of the activity that’s there. With Adobe and Exactware now doing their project, we are bringing on more space. The interchanges got kind of Band-Aided the last 24 months, and they are already totally maxed. And we got left out on the core project, so now you have this gap between Main Street Lehi and south Salt Lake County. Hopefully we will be able to find something to fix that sooner than later. Because with all the companies coming out here and recruiting, they are expecting to be able to get to locations quicker than they can in L.A. And right now it’s getting really tight in that one little corridor.

FUGAL: It’s exciting to see 550,000 square feet of class A, multi-tenant product built in the last three-and-a-half years in one park alone in Lehi, Utah. During this challenging economy, it’s great to see that kind of product come on line, and it’s literally one building after another. Couple that with the largest single office lease transaction in a long time, Exactware’s 210,000-square-foot campus, which is now rising and under construction—and it further punctuates the activity of eBay’s new campus, Adobe, NSA and everything else coming into play, really illustrating this growth. You really have the convergence of the Salt Lake and Utah County market into one major metroplex area market.

WOODLEY: We have been seeing a lot of class A tenants moving to the Point of the Mountain, mostly at Thanksgiving Point. It seems to be a hot spot. People like that they can recruit out of both Utah County and Salt Lake County.

TESEROS: We are working with a group out of California, a software development company, one of the fastest-growing companies in North America. They contacted us and said, “We want to be in this Thanksgiving Point, Lehi area. We know about Adobe and eBay.” They hadn’t even been to Salt Lake and were totally focused on that from such a far reach. They came into town and just knew what they wanted and where they wanted to be. And we beat out Texas. That’s just the magnifying glass on that small area out there.

But one of their concerns is that the area is still not built out with retailers and access and that type of thing, so that demand is really there which, of course, will then drive the supply.

CORROON: From Ninigret’s perspective on the industrial side of the market, there’s pressure north and south, and now they believe the west will start coming into play. So places like Tooele County will be important for industrial development. The costs out there are a third of what they are in Salt Lake. Lease rates are about a third of what they are in Salt Lake. So we believe that eventually the industrial market will start moving west.

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