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South Valley Journal

August Open House will present framework master plan for The Point

Aug 02, 2021 10:25AM ● By Mimi Darley Dutton

In advance of the August Open House announcing a framework master plan, The Point provided this visual of what the public can expect. (Courtesy The Point)

By Mimi Darley Dutton | [email protected]

The Point will hold an Open House Aug. 12 to announce a framework master plan for the 600 acres of state-owned property that has been touted as a once in a generation project. After hiring internationally renowned firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill last December, much of 2021 was spent developing the plan with multiple public input opportunities. The Point also announced the hiring of Scott Cuthbertson as Director of Operations. 

“The Open House is an opportunity for us to roll out the framework master plan for the site. We want people to be able to see how their input has been transferred into plans and how the pieces come together,” said Alan Matheson, The Point’s executive director, who said they’ve listened to more than 10,000 people in the process thus far. “People will see a vibrant, future-focused community that tries to improve the quality of life for people in Utah.”

According to Matheson, the main components of the framework plan are innovation, future-focused transportation, an emphasis on sustainability, and places for people to gather to enjoy entertainment and open space.

Where innovation is concerned, Matheson said public and private sector partnerships will work to solve some of society’s challenges such as air quality, changing climate, advanced energy innovation, biotechnology, life sciences, and potentially cyber security. He anticipates cutting edge research will take place at the site with “incubators and accelerators that help take those ideas to market.” 

Future-focused transportation plans include transit throughout the site so that people living and working there can have but won’t need more than one vehicle. It will feature Gold Standard Bus Rapid Transit with designated rights of way, signal prioritization (traffic lights change to keep the special buses moving) and raised platforms. “It will be like light rail on rubber tires,” Matheson said. There are also plans for an autonomous circulator to move people throughout the site without a car and the possibility of “air taxis” or people-moving drones. 

“We’re building a community for coming generations, not just for today, so we have to set our sights on what will be, not just what is,” Matheson said. 

Approximately 140 acres will be used for an open space and trails system. Features include a central park for public gatherings, a river to range trail connecting the Jordan River Parkway to the Wasatch Mountain trails that simultaneously provides habitat for wildlife, and a series of “green connections” for people to use for walking, biking, scooters, and whatever the future might bring.

Regarding sustainability, the framework master plan works to reduce emissions and employs practices and designs that lend themselves to low-energy and low-water use. 

With the housing crunch, the plan is to provide a range of housing for various incomes and backgrounds to create mixed neighborhoods. Housing will include single-family homes, townhomes, condos and apartments. By providing a variety of housing options, they hope that people can both live and work at the site. 

“We call this a framework plan because it’s not a final plan. It gives direction to our next steps but has built-in flexibility to accommodate changes in the economy, technology and other circumstances,” Matheson said. 

The current prison inmates will be moved in roughly one year to the new correctional facility. That will be followed by demolition, remediation, site preparation and backbone infrastructure such as major roads, water systems, trails and parks. Matheson anticipates vertical development to begin in 2024 or 2025. “We’ll start seeing some buildings go up. That will be exciting as this public vision becomes reality.” 

Cuthbertson was chosen as Director of Operations after a national search with more than 130 applicants. He’s spent 15 years working on major development projects around the world and he founded Sterling Capital Partners headquartered in Salt Lake City. He holds degrees from Brigham Young University, Georgetown University and the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. 

The Point’s Aug. 12 Open House will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Fred House Training Academy, 14727 Minuteman Drive in Draper. The public can participate in-person or via The Point’s YouTube channel during scheduled Open House hours. A recording will be posted online following the event.