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Plans for a development to include affordable housing on prison land

A guard tower at the Utah State Prison on Monday, Sept, 14, 2020. State and local officials make an announcement regarding the launch of planning efforts to redevelop the Utah State Prison in Draper. "The Point" is the newly established name for this 600 acres of state-owned property. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Plans for a development at the state prison have just been released. The director of the new site said it will be a walkable, sustainable community. Development plans include offices, retail shops, entertainment, but also affordable housing. This is an important component as Utah’s share of affordable housing dries up from skyrocketing home prices. 

The Point Executive Director Alan Matheson joins Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson. They talk about the 600-acre development of state-owned land at the Point of the Mountain near Draper. It  will be replacing the Utah State Prison, which is about 20 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

On Tuesday, the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority released the framework plan for The Point. The plan envisions housing, trails, open spaces and parks, entertainment venues, office towers and retail outlets along the Jordan River.

One of the principals guiding the development of The Point is community, said Alan Matheson.

“A place where people can gather and enjoy being together — concerts, parks, trails, open space.”

Drive less, pollute less 

Also important goals: sustainability and transportation.

“We want this to be a place that’s a model of sustainability, that uses less water, that contributes less to air pollution, that really uses less energy,” he said.

Matheson said The Point’s design aims to make it easy to get around the site without a personal vehicle.

“We’ve created these little green pathways throughout the site that allow people to access any point on the site by walking or riding a bike without getting on a road,” he said.

Plans for a development include affordable housing

Boyd asked as housing prices continue to go up in Utah, will people of lower incomes be able to afford housing at The Point?

“As a state entity, we’ve wanted to advance state goals, and our board has said that housing affordability is one of those goals,” Alan Matheson said. “We’re not going to solve the whole problem on a 600-acre site, but we want this to be a community that’s welcoming to all — those who work on the site, from entry-level jobs to support jobs to executive positions.”

What’s next?

He said the next step for The Point is reaching out to developers who share in its vision.

 “Really importantly, we want development partners who care about this site and the state as much as we do,” he said.

Matheson said he expects inmates at the prison to begin moving to the new correctional site west of the Salt Lake International Airport in about a year.

“That’ll give us a chance to start demolition of the site and the remediation. We expect backbone infrastructure to go in shortly after that,” he said.

Related reading:

Priced Out: Rentals? Too few, too expensive to be affordable


The Point is hosting an open house at the Fred House Training Academy on Thursday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., 14727 Minuteman Drive in Draper.

 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.