Forget about Black Friday or Cyber Monday, for many West Jordan residents, the most exciting day of shopping this year fell on a Wednesday.
On Dec. 3, a new Smith’s Marketplace opened its doors in an area that has long felt cut off from the rest of the city.
“We have a lot of residents in this area who have been really struggling, desperately waiting for some sort of retail out on the west side of the city,” City Councilmember Justin Stoker said.
The 123,000-square-foot store brings 300 new jobs to the city and is the first of several retail and dining establishments opening in the 23-acre shopping center on the corner of 7800 South and 5600 West.
“We’ve lived in the area for 10 years and have waited a long time for more convenient shopping and dining,” Donna Mautz said.
She was among the hundreds of community members invited to attend a VIP pre-opening celebration with city leaders and store executives on Dec. 2. The event offered residents a firsthand glimpse of the new building, along with an opportunity to meet store management and sample just a few of the 200,000 products offered throughout the store.
“We’re excited. This has been a long time coming, and the management is so awesome and fun. We really hit the jackpot,” Mary Anderson said.
Smith’s Marketplace executives present a check for $2,500 to the West Jordan Exchange Club for the Sierra Newbold Playground.
In the spirit of giving, Smith’s executives donated $10,000 to help the community. The West Jordan Exchange Club received a check for $2,500 to be used toward the Sierra Newbold Playground, an all-abilities play area at the Ron Wood Regional Park named in honor of the 6-year-old West Jordan girl who was murdered two years ago.
Smith’s Marketplace Manager Scott Carter presented the remaining $7,500 to Jen Campbell of South Valley Services, an organization committed to helping victims of domestic violence.
The shopping center is just one part of The Highlands, a 370-acre master-planned community being developed by Peterson Development Company. The first phase of the project will include an additional 50,000 square feet of retail shopping, along with additional commercial, residential and open-space improvements.
Last year, former city manager Rick Davis said the shopping center, anchored by the Smith’s store, is “the largest [retail] development on the west side of the city since Jordan Landing.”
The new one-mile extension of 5600 West between 7800 South and 7000 South opened in late November and has already been a great blessing, community members said. “The completion of [the extension] has generated a tremendous interest from other businesses that will serve this growing area well,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said.
“We’ve been living in this area and feeling a bit cut off from civilization for 11 years. The increased connectivity and easier access to shopping, thanks to the road and commercial developments, are amazing,” Danielle Peek said.
Making the roadway completion possible wasn’t an easy task. Besides working through the legislature to obtain funding for construction, city leaders had to negotiate with property owners to acquire rights to the land so the connection could be completed.
“Melissa Johnson, who is the former mayor, worked tirelessly to bring in the money to help make that street a reality,” Stoker said.
Johnson acted as an advocate for completion of the 5600 West corridor not only for the development potential, but also because of the enhanced access that the road now provides to emergency responders.
This spring, the City of West Jordan will partner with UDOT and West Valley City to widen the remainder of the roadway between7000 South and 6300 South.