Pleasant Grove—In business, as in life, time and cultivation leads to growth. That was the theme of St. John Properties’ groundbreaking for its new master-planned development in Pleasant Grove on Tuesday. The 62-acre development, Valley Grove, will include 1 million square feet of office, retail, restaurant and hospitality space, all centered around Pleasant Grove Blvd. near the I-15 interchange.
Daniel Thomas, regional partner with St. John Properties, said the company is anxious to see its vision for Valley Grove fulfilled. But just as a young sapling needs time and care in order to grow into a mature tree, he said, real estate development requires the patient, long-term execution of plans.
Valley Grove is intended to capitalize on the population and economic growth taking place in Utah County. Thomas said St. John Properties is “on a quest to grow Valley Grove into the epicenter of Utah County.”
Gov. Gary Herbert, who spoke at the groundbreaking, said the state demographer recently reported a likely population explosion in the area.
“Utah County is growing so rapidly that in the next four years, the population of Salt Lake County, which is now 1.1 million, and Utah County, which is about 600,000, will be equal,” Herbert said.
In addition to a great deal of residential construction in the area, Utah’s thriving Silicon Slopes tech community is driving a lot of growth in north Utah County. Instructure, for example, will be among the first tenants of Valley Grove. The firm will move 250 of its employees into a new corporate headquarters there. Other tech companies that already lease space at Valley Grove include Whistic, optionsANIMAL and Fortem Technologies.
Andrew Smith, CEO of Four Foods Group, said his restaurant franchise company plans to create a flagship restaurant at Valley Grove, adding it will be one of the largest restaurants Four Foods Group has in its portfolio. The company owns and operates 107 restaurants across the country, with brands including Kneaders, R&R Barbeque and Mo’ Bettah Steaks.
“When we looked at the development that St. John put together, we were ecstatic,” said Smith. “We’re excited about putting our foothold in the area.”
At the groundbreaking event, Brandon Fugal, chairman of Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors, announced the brokerage will move its Utah County headquarters to Valley Grove.
“We have been very proud to be a partner with St. John as the brokerage and marketing end of things, and really spearheading a lot of this incredible Class A development and retail development and amenities that will transform this interchange and, frankly, set a new tone for Utah County in general,” he said.
At full build-out, Valley Grove is expected to host more than 7,000 employees in its four office towers and other office pads. St. John Properties has committed to planting more than 2,000 trees throughout the development, and the office towers will be LEED certified.
St. John Properties is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The real estate investment company holds $2.5 billion worth of assets, including 18 million square feet of commercial real estate, according to president Lawrence Maykrantz. Valley Grove represents its entrance into the Utah market.