An unlikely company is proposing to build what most developers
can't - a dense community in an area where large homes and large
lots are the norm.
Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.,
which has mined copper in the Salt Lake Valley for almost 100
years, plans to build 12,000 homes, apartments and condominiums and
4 million square feet of commercial and retail space in South
Jordan over the next 20 years.
People who choose
to live in the new town, called "Sunrise," will be able to walk to
churches and grocery stores, bike along a five-mile circular
greenbelt and move from an apartment to a home in the same
Kennecott's proposal is more dense
than typical developments in the region, which tend to feature
fewer than three homes per acre. Kennecott can plan big because it
already owns 4,200 acres - one of the largest chunks of open land
in the valley - and the company has deep
"Most developers in the region are
smaller, so they don't have the financial staying power," says
Stephen Holbrook, executive director of the Coalition for Utah's
Future, which sponsored a public/private partnership to study
growth in the area around Salt Lake. Because private land is
limited, he says, developments are only 10 to 20 acres, and
developers must "build and sell."
meanwhile, will continue mining, though Bill Williams, vice
president of Kennecott, says its Utah mines will close in 20 to 30
The company's town proposal won't go to
the public for several months, but some city council members have
already indicated their approval.