Checking in on Herriman Towne Center development as city hall turns 2 years old
Aug 29, 2019 11:59AM
By Justin Adams
Land surrounding City Hall has lain undisturbed, waiting for development of some kind. (Justin Adams/City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Sept. 22 will mark two years since the ribbon-cutting of Herriman City Hall, an iconic building designed to be the anchor the vision of a thriving community gathering place known as the Herriman Towne Center. Since that time, land surrounding the area has lain undisturbed, waiting for development of some kind.
“We put a pause on it the last nine months to make sure that it will be conducive to what we’re trying to accomplish, so it has that look that enhances what we already have with city hall,” said Herriman City Manager Brett Wood.
Wood said the city is being patient in its search to find the right businesses to come in to one of the 16 planned retail lots on the east and west sides of city hall.
“It will be local businesses most likely—things that are tailored to the specifics of the community,” said Tami Moody, the city’s communications director.
Whether that’s a unique coffee shop, sandwich shop or other boutique or eatery, city officials believe it will give Herriman residents another option besides the many national chains and fast food establishments that dominate Herriman.
Wood said city leaders have been trying to attract more sit-down restaurants into the city, but that the city’s demographics have caused concern for developers.
Herriman has a lot of large, active families, he said. For them it’s not as affordable to take their large families to something like a Market Street Grill, and it’s much easier to grab some food at a fast-food restaurant when you’re rushing between piano lessons and soccer practices.
For those reasons, Wood said, sit-down restaurants in Herriman would likely have to be patient as they struggle early on.
Moody also noted that it’s not up to city leaders what kinds of restaurants get built.
“It’s ultimately up to the landowner,” she said. “They decide who they sell the land to and what gets built there.”
Whatever ends up being built in the Towne Center area will join a number of other city amenities and attractions that make up what Moody calls the “heart and hub of the city.”
J. Lynn Crane Park, which sits in front of city hall, features a splash pad in the summer, an ice skating ribbon in the winter, a playground and even a small stage for community events and performances.
“There are some events where you can’t even find a parking space here,” said Moody.
Other public amenities in the area include the library and the rec center, located just north of city hall. Additionally, there are plans to build a public safety building to the east of city hall, and possibly either a justice court or a performing arts building to the west.
The vision for the area is that residents living nearby can find most, if not all, of their daily needs just a short walk away. It’s what Wood describes as a live-work-play community.
“If I was to close my eyes and imagine this place 20 years from now, you’d see some nice eateries where someone could go to have their morning coffee,” he said. “Same thing in the evening: They can go and have dinner while watching the activity in the park. I see a really unique bicycle shop. People can drop their kids off for ice skating and go get a cup of coffee. I see activity going on here all the time.”
That idea of getting residents outside in walkable environments and at community events is a key part of the city’s overall goal of establishing a unique Herriman culture.
“It’s been a very key component of our vision,” Wood said. “We want to create a culture. We encourage people to co-mingle and cohabitate an area, to have conversations and know who people are, to work alongside each other. That allows our culture to grow.”