Daybreak Maps Pictures Archives Green Page Real Estate

Monday, February 7, 2011

Daybreak Wins Community of the Year

The National Association of Home Builders has awarded Daybreak Community of the Year for 2010. The Best in American Living Awards (BALA) is an organization that recognizes those who have achieved superior levels of creativity and innovation in their designs for residential development on a macro and micro scale. Judging is conducted by an expert panel of builders, design professionals, marketing professionals, land planners, interior designers and editors. The judging criteria for community of the year:

•Exterior design/curb appeal
•Site Plan
•Construction quality/cost efficiency
•Product sales success

As you can see one of the best indicators of winning the award is product sales success. As the Daybreak community was ranked as the sixth best selling master planned community in the United States for 2009 by RCLCO (Robert Charles Lesser & Co., LLC, it is no surprise that they were in good standing to win this award.

Daybreak also received the 2010 BALA Platinum Award for Suburban Smart Growth Community. This award is judged on the following criteria:

•Protect and provide access to the natural environment
•Incorporate a mix of land uses
•Use land in an efficient and innovative manner
•Encourage multiple transportation options
•Be pedestrian-scaled and pedestrian-friendly
•Provide housing choices
•Respect local traditions
•Utilize infill opportunities
•Deliver a genuine experience of place
•Create jobs and affect the economic environment

With Daybreak's commercial center, TRAX, mix of housing options and new urban design, a platinum award in this category is no surprise.

On a side note, while this is not exactly braking news I will be catching up on events that concern Daybreak that have happened in during my long break.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Long Break

Many have e-mailed me asking why I stopped writing in this blog. Well, life happened. I have been busy taking care of my family and living life. However, a few days ago I logged in and found the e-mails and then looked at the stats for this blog. For over a year now this blog has been neglected and surprisingly still attracts hundreds of viewers every day. Apparently the interest in Daybreak has not waned.

My wife also looked at the stats and encouraged me to set aside a little time each week to update Daybreak Today. So new posts are in the works and hopefully a little redesign. Please comment if there is something in specific that interests you for which you would like an article to be written.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SoDa Row Shops Revealed

Daybreak is about to become the home to seven new locally-owned and operated businesses. Kennecott Land officially announced the tenants for the new SoDa Row mixed use commericial section of Daybreak. Daybreak residents will now have the chance to walk or ride a short distance to go out to eat, get a haircut, deposit a check, or take the kids to dance or karate lessons. Here is a list of the latest tentants to be contracted for SoDa Row:

Grab a meal

Tio’s Mexican Restaurant - As a decent Mexican resteraunt is not located even close to Daybreak, this place will be a welcome addition. Tio’s is a local Mexican restaurant with one other location currently open in Murray. I asked around about the place in Murray and heard good reviews consisting of authentic food and good service.

San Gelato Café - Gelato in Italian literally means "frozen" and that is what this cafe will mainly serve - Italian icecream. 36 different flavors to be exact. Not in the mood for dessert? Try the a panini, an italian sandwich which has become immensly popular here in America. Pizza, salads, soups, and wraps will also be served at this cafe. Learn more at

Flips, Dance, and so much more

Black Diamond Gymnastics - Black Diamond is a Park City based business that will open a second location in Daybreak. It provides gymnastics, dance, cheer and martial arts. However, the list of activities at this new state of the art facility will be wide ranging. Right Star Academy, an academic preschool and tutoring program, will be integrated into the facility as well. Black Diamond offers unique services. An example? How about the Big Air program. The Big Air program is especially for skiers, boarders, skaters, etc. The curriculum focuses on trampoline and tumbling instruction designed to enhance core strength, air awareness and self-confidence while learning the proper technique of flipping and twisting. Learn more at

Get a Haircut

Guy's Barbershop - A truly local establishment where local owner, Guy Dumas, will provide the traditional hair cutting services as a one-man show. Want to know about the neighborhood and the locals? I would ask him. As part of his job description, he will be more knowledgable about individual residents than anyone.

Kids and Clothes

Oopsie Daisy will be the new children's botique in Daybreak. It will offer distinctive children’s clothes, shoes, gifts and furniture. Not a bad idea considering Daybreak is crawling with youngsters.

The Cleaners

Classic Cleaners is an environmentally aware business with two other locations in the valley. I've personally heard good reviews about the other locations. Usually people mention a quick turn around time and friendly service.

Stash the Cash

Zions Bank - Founded in 1873 in Utah, this bank has been a major entity in Utah business from the beginning. Now a local branch will be located in SoDa Row for the convenience of residents.

Taking a Break

If you visit this blog often you will have noticed that it has been a while since I have written a post. Well, I decided to take a break from blogging to focus on other matters. Now that these matters have been resolved, I will start to write regular posts again.

Expect weekly updates on this blog for the rest of the year.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Garden Park Information

Garden Park, the new active adult community here in Daybreak, has been on the drawing board for awhile now. Kennecott Land finally announced that the opening would be scheduled for this summer, but gave only a few details. Ivory Homes has now released the home designs, maps, and illustrations for Garden Park.

While the Garden Park village will eventually expand to be 500 units, the current map only illustrates the position of about 41 of those units. There are currently two types of homes offered: patio homes and garden homes. The patio homes are really just a different name for parkside homes that share a common area. The garden homes are single family homes with "large, open" lots. Appropriately, all of the home designs are ramblers. While Ivory claims that some were designed specifically for Garden Park, the designs are similar to the Paseo homes that are being built in North Shore.

The new clubhouse for Garden Parks seems to be the crown jewel of the new village. The clubhouse includes a pool that is surrounded by buildings that house a fitness center and accomodations for various social activities.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mid-Jordan TRAX Reaches Milestone

The Utah Transit Authority recently announced that the Mid-Jordan TRAX line is now approximatly 40% complete. This milestone will be reached this weekend as freight trains start using the new TRAX line for deliveries to local businesses. While the trains are using the new line, UTA will be cutting out the old freight line and realigning it to be parallel with the new TRAX line. Once the Mid-Jordan line is finished in late 2011, two lines will be used by TRAX during the day and by the freight trains at night.

When completed, the project will interline with the Sandy/Salt Lake TRAX Line with direct service to the Salt Lake Central Station in downtown Salt Lake City, where it will connect with UTA’s FrontRunner commuter rail system and bus service.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Three Story Townhomes in Daybreak

Kennecott Land is set to unveil the first commercial component of Daybreak called SoDa Row. SoDa Row, short for Southern Daybreak, was referred to in earlier blog posts as the village center. While many residents are excited for the shops to open their doors this year, many do not know of the full plans that accompany this new portion of Daybreak.

The residential parts of the village center will exhibit higher densities than the surrounding areas which is appropriate to support the commercial activity and adhere to the transect style of planning. This is not a new idea, but there has always been the question of exactly how Kennecott Land would accomplish this. Kennecott Land has recently confirmed that one housing style to accomplish this density will be three story townhomes.

I am not quite sure who the builder will be or exactly what style they will use, but if the past is of any indication the townhomes will most likely be modern in design. However, the builder and or Kennecott could use a variety of styles in the required sustainable manner. In the last post discussing the South Station Lofts, I criticized the architecture of what will be the highest density residential development of Daybreak to date. I am not an architecture critic and have not participated in any formal training on the subject. However, I do have preferences for more traditional architecture. That said, there were many comments on the post with a few that praised the style of architecture citing the aesthetic appeal of a variety of styles. These comments made me wonder how many residents or soon-to-be residents agree with the blend of modern and traditional architecture being implemented in Daybreak.

Looking to these new three story townhomes, I wonder in what style of architecture the readers of this blog prefer the homes to be constructed. Below is a list of architectural examples in which three story townhomes have been constructed in the past 10 years. They are labeled with a letter. Select the one that you find the most appealing and enter it into the poll located in the right side bar of this blog. After a month, I will post the most appealing style.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

South Station Lofts at Daybreak

The South Jordan Planning Commission approved the South Station Lofts that will be located on the corner of Daybreak Parkway and Lake Run Rd. Apparently there was a 3 to 1 vote with one member of the commission citing safety concerns of residents backing out of their driveways into the alley. I also heard that there were concerns about the architecture of the 4 story, 38 unit structure. While it is prudent to postpone final judgment until the end product is constructed, the renderings of the building are not aesthetically appealing to me at all. Sure the project is environmentally friendly, but this modern architecture approach in a residential application does not fit in with the surrounding residential environment. However, I do think that there is merit in architectural diversity. Not every building should look the same.

Gold Medallion Homes will be the builder and will be marketing the units here in Daybreak. There will be a total of 4 studio units, 6 one-bedroom units, 25 two-bedroom units and 3 three-bedroom units. The design will most likely be replicated across the street to the West as well.

While I do not live on Topcrest (the road on which single-family homes are poised to have South Station Lofts right in their backyard) I have found that most residents on the street do not want this development. There were meetings with Kennecott Land, but minimal interest was demonstrated at these meetings with only 8 residents showing up. Apparently, there were no citizen comments or citizens for that matter at the planning commission meeting as well. While one outspoken home owner continues to communicate with Kennecott, the lack of interest by most of the affected homeowners has given Kennecott the belief that the plan status quo will do.

Density is of course the goal with this project and it is needed to justify the TRAX station located nearby, but this density could definitely be achieved in a more aesthetically pleasing manner. More concessions could have also been made to address traffic and safety concerns for residents of Topcrest. Backing out into an alley that will at peak periods have nearly 50 cars per hour without being able to see the traffic until you are actually in it is an accident waiting to happen.

For Kennecott's defense: a thorough traffic study was conducted, a lengthening of resident driveways, widening of the alley itself, and measures are being taken to obstruct line of sight between the homes and the condos. The 4 story section of the building is also the furthest it can possibly be from the Topcrest homes given the lot dimensions. Additionally, no residential windows will directly overlook Topcrest backyards. These measures are definitely welcome, but more extensive measures and design input would have been enacted if resident participation were higher.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Daybreak's New Ride

Utah Transit Authority has put in an order for 77 new Siemens S70 train cars for TRAX. These modern looking train cars represent the largest order that Siemens has contracted in the United States so far. While testing of the S70s will start at the end of the year, they will be in place in time for the opening of the Mid-Jordan TRAX line. So when the Daybreak North and South stations finally open, expect to see these trains loading the passengers.

The big advantage of these trains is that they will actually be able to achieve their top speed of 65 miles per hour as many of the stations along the Mid-Jordan TRAX line are far enough apart to allow the speed. Not to mention that the S70s can accelerate much faster than the current TRAX trains being used.

Other positive features of the S70 include:

  • Easier to board as the train is on platform level wich eliminates the need for ramps and steps and allows commuters who are disabled to board with ease.
  • More room - Wider Aisles and larger spaces allow for wheelchair access and room to fit your bike.
  • A variety of seating arrangements including open space, bench seating and regular seating.
In the end all of these features translate into a faster commute in a train with large windows and plenty of space. Commuting in this S70 to and from work while surfing the internet on the train wi-fi could definitely appeal to many commuters who endure freeway traffic each day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Jordan School District Split

The Jordan School District (covers most of the southern part of Salt Lake County including Daybreak) will split into two districts on July 1, 2009. The whole affair resembles a long and tedious divorce process which divided up assets and kids. Only in this divorce, 1 billion dollars in assets, hundreds of millions in liabilities, and just over 81,000 students were divided between what will be the Canyons School District and the new Jordan School District.

While this possibility had been in the minds of many people for years, the issue was voted on in the 2007 election in which the Eastern half of the district voted to secede. Many people in the Western half of the district felt that this was unfair as it greatly affected them and their children, yet they did not get to vote on the matter. The voters in the Eastern half of the district wanted to secede because they felt like they were subsidizing the construction of West-side schools when the schools in their own neighborhood were old and in need of repair. In many ways this conflict seemed to follow the classic East vs West theme.

The question then became: how do we split up the assets and liabilities. This was the major sticking point between the East and West side transition teams. When reading news articles about this issue I could not help but think that people were only thinking about money and not about the students. First and foremost was the question of how to value assets. Do you assign a monetary value based on the market? Do you just assets according to geography? Both sides had experts give opinions that weighed heavily in their favor with a biased view of the assets. For example, the West side transition team assessed the following values:

  • West side schools value: $518,483,767.00
  • East side schools value: $574,639,271.00
While the East side transition team assessed the following values:
  • West side schools value: $778,364,746.00
  • East side schools value: $399,218,522.00
Quite a large discrepancy if you ask me. The arbitrators agreed and felt that both assessments were not reliable. Instead they considered qualitative aspects in that the East side has a larger tax base and the West side has and will have a rapidly growing student population. To that end, to put both districts in a viable financial position they found the following:

  • Liabilities will be divided up 58% for the East side and 42% for the West side (This according to the state legislature)
  • Schools will be divided up on a geographic basis
  • Other assets will be divided up according to student population (59% West side and 41% East side)
The specifics are still left up to the transition teams, but now they have binding rules that they must follow. In the end, I think that this decision brings about the best possible scenario for both school districts to prosper and for students to continue to receive the same quality of eduction that they have been receiving. The best part of this split is that now the decisions for the school district are more localized. However, this could very well mean an increase in taxes for both the West and East sides.