West Jordan Works Toward New Copper Hills Marketplace Development
By Taylor Stevens | firstname.lastname@example.org
West Jordan - West Jordan City is working toward a 239-acre development project on the west side of the city that will generate economic activity, create jobs and may contain an auto mall, according to city documents.
According to David Murphy, West Jordan’s development director, the city expects to begin work on the Copper Hills Marketplace sometime before the end of 2016.
The project will include space for retail, office and business development, with plans for an auto mall in discussion — something the city has been continuously fighting for in the Utah state legislature.
“I’m most excited about [the development] for the reason of the auto mall that we’ve got designed to go there,” said Mayor Kim Rolfe. “We’re excited. We’re actually working with a lot of auto dealerships that are interested in coming, and this is the first step to get us to the auto mall.”
David Murphy, West Jordan’s development director, said that the auto mall would be beneficial for the city’s revenue and for the convenience of residents.
“We take a look at the goods and services that are available to West Jordan citizens, and that’s one sector of the business community that is not in West Jordan,” Murphy said. “So our citizens have to drive across town over to Murray or Sandy to get a car service or to buy cars. It’s very inconvenient for West Jordan citizens. That is most critical issue that we look at. Of course, we also look at the revenue side — taxes and so on and so forth.”
A study done in 2013 identified an auto mall as the most significant need in West Jordan, according to West Jordan’s website.
“Current auto-related business in the city only meet 13 percent of the projected total demand, which amounts to $138,016,456 per year which is not spent at West Jordan businesses,” according to information on the city’s website.
Although the city said it recognizes a demand for an auto mall in West Jordan, it has been blocked from constructing one by Utah state law, which — in addition to other barriers — mandates that new dealerships must be 15 miles away from an existing dealership of the same brand, according to the city’s website.
The development project as a whole is expected to “generate significant economic activity” and to create approximately 3,900 new jobs within the city, according to city documents.
Rolfe said he was most excited to make the Copper Hills development a “commercial area in general and [be] able to build our tax base by sales tax and property tax.”
Murphy said that although the city wants to begin construction soon, it will be a while before West Jordan residents can shop at any businesses in the Copper Hills Marketplace.
“A lot of the retail businesses are driven strictly by demand, and unless the houses are there and the rooftops are there, the retailers are reluctant to come in,” Murphy said.
“They look to see ‘x’ number of rooftops within a one-mile or two-mile radius. There’s plenty of interest in West Jordan, however. They are all waiting for the population to get to that level where it makes sense for them.”
Murphy said the city plans to keep residents informed as it works toward finalizing more details.