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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.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Daybreak Place: Apartments in Daybreak, Utah

Kennecott Land will soon be developing Daybreak Place, a 315 unit apartment complex situated North of Daybreak Parkway and just West of the Rio Tinto Corporate Center. While I am not sure about the timeline for the project, I am fairly sure that construction will be in conjunction with TRAX and the village center. Daybreak Place will consist of eight 2 and 3-story apartment buildings with 165 tuck-under garages.

From the beginning Daybreak was planned to include higher-density structures such as apartments and condominium complexes. This is part of the concept of New Urbanism and is necessary to facilitate other amenities coming to Daybreak such as TRAX. However, I would have to review Kennecott Land's plans for this complex more thoroughly before forming my opinion on this new development. Integrating dense development into what is currently a suburb community definitely has its challenges. Given this limited information, I am not sure that this plan meets those challenges effectively.

From what I can see this new complex will have some amenities of its own including a pool and what looks to be a club house. I see this as a definite plus as these amenities ensure that additional stress is not placed on existing amenities. From the picture of the structure you can see the varied facade that counteracts the fact that the building itself is quit large. While this design does not look too bad, I have definitely seen better. I wonder if it has that "daybreakish" look that they seem to strive after?

While I am adopting a wait-and-see attitude for this complex it is definitely better than the majority of similar developments in the valley. For one, it does seem to follow the transect style plan of Daybreak as it is near TRAX and close to the Town Center. Another feature that separates this level of density from the less dense residential to the South is Daybreak Parkway.

From my standpoint this complex could serve as a transition residence for many people who want to move to Daybreak, but cannot quite afford a home of their own. Maybe Kennecott will set up an exception to the time period of the lease if the renter decides to buy a home in Daybreak. This complex could serve a vital function as many people who have had their credit destroyed by foreclosure could still find an apartment in a community such as Daybreak.
With TRAX literally down the street I imagine this complex will attract single working professionals as well.

From what I can see the apartments will be managed by a company called Western National Group (WNG). WNG is a large California based multifamily development firm that covers all aspects from planning to managing. This firm has built and managed tens of thousands of apartment units across the U.S. While I cannot confirm at this time, I have heard that rent for these apartments will range from $600 for a single bedroom apartment to $1200 for a three bedroom unit.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Utah To Grant $6,000 to Home Buyers

Earlier today the Utah State Legislature passed the Housing Relief Restricted Special Revenue Fund. This fund grants $6,000 to individuals who purchase a home in Utah. There are a few stipulations:

  • The home must be a "newly constructed" residence which includes all homes that have never been occupied.
  • Income limits apply as you will not qualify for this grant if you as an individual make over $75,000 or as a couple make over $150,000 annually.
  • The number of grants is limited and are available on a first come first served basis. Approximately 1666 grants are available (10 million dollars)
  • This grant is for any home buyer (as opposed to first-time home buyers exclusively)
This money can be used as a down payment or for closing costs. $6,000 by itself would probably not do much to force potential home buyers off of the fence, but when you consider all of the other factors ($8,000 tax credit, low interest rates, builder incentives) I think that this will definitely push a few buyers off of the fence. Especially in a time where the down-payment seems to be the biggest hurdle as the credit crunch continues.

For Daybreak, I think that you will see a definite uptick in the market for new homes as builders with more affordable options will be selling some inventory. As for how this will affect the existing home market, I can't be sure. There are great deals to be found in foreclosures and short sales.

To apply for your grant, visit the Utah Housing Corp website.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Looking at Daybreak, Utah In a New Way

At about this time last year I wrote a post about the Streetview technology that Google integrated into their popular maps interface. Another useful web application that has been developed by Microsoft allows the user a "bird's eye" view of any area in the Salt Lake Valley, including Daybreak. This has been integrated into their maps application so to access it you just need to go to Once you are in the maps section you need to zoom in on the area that you want to look at with bird's eye. Once you are zoomed in close enough the bird's eye option will be available in the navigation bar in the top left of your map screen.
You can zoom in fairly close too.

One of the best features of this web application is that you can view the same spot from four different angles: North, South, East and West.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Building in Daybreak with Brick

Daybreak, as Kennecott Land has eagerly advertised, is a sustainable community and therefore uses sustainable materials in the construction of homes and other buildings. Of course, not all the materials are sustainable, but sustainable materials are definitely emphasized in construction. With this in mind I have looked at the materials used to build many of the homes in Daybreak. These consist primarily of fiber cement siding and stucco. There are very few homes that have been built with what I consider to be one of the best building materials: brick.

I should make it clear that I am not a materials engineer, home builder or sustainability expert. However, I do think that there are simple reasons for using this material more in the construction of Daybreak homes and commercial buildings. Brick may not be the first thing you think of when considering sustainable building as it is primarily thought of as a traditional building material, but lets look a little deeper. What is brick made from? Most bricks are made from clay and water. Both are a sustainable, non-toxic, abundant and can definitely be made locally.

Next, how much energy does it take to make a brick and transport it to a building site? This is one of the primary arguments against the use of brick. It does take a lot of energy as brick must be heated to an extraordinary temperature during the manufacturing process. However, I think that this is offset by how long brick lasts. Bricks resist the elements far longer than stucco or any type of siding. During the life of a home, stucco and siding will be painted and eventually replaced multiple times. Brick, however can last a hundred years or more if used and constructed properly. As for transportation costs, bricks have been made in the Salt Lake Valley for ages. Transportation from the actual production site to Daybreak would literally be only a few miles. In fact, if I am not mistaken, Interstate Brick company is located in West Jordan .

Benefits of brick according to the AIA (American Institute of Architects):

  • Durability: Brick is resistant to damage from wind and water, and does not need additional finishes.
  • Compressive Strength: Brick can carry heavy loads, but it is often used as a veneer over a separate structural system because of cost. Many brick manufacturers provide larger brick sizes to be used in a single wythe (layer) for load bearing.
  • Acoustical Performance: Brick’s mass makes it good for reducing sound transmission; however, its hard surface reflects sound.
  • Chemical Makeup: Brick’s raw materials are chemically inert; consequently, they will not contribute to indoor air pollution.
  • Fire-Protection: Brick is nonflammable and makes an excellent fire barrier. After brick has been used in a structure it can easily be recycled to be used in new structures.

Considering this, I think that a long-term perspective should be taken on sustainable building in Daybreak. New technologies in sustainable building products are impressive, but considering the information above, the primitive brick may be a low technology solution to sustainable design. You may even argue that brick costs more and you would be correct. However, brick homes tend to appraise for more money and again if you are looking at the long-term, you will not have to replace the outside of your home when the mortgage has finally been paid.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tax Credit Final Amount: $8000

The stimulus bill has now been passed, but the $15000 tax credit did not survive the cuts made to the original bill. However, the new tax credit is still a drastic improvement upon the old $7500 credit.

$8000 tax credit highlights:

  • The $8000 tax credit is available only to first-time home buyers
  • The $8000 tax credit is available only when the first-time home buyers buy a primary residence
  • The $8000 tax credit is available only to first-time home buyers buying a primary residence between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009
  • The $8000 tax credit does not require repayment
  • The $8000 tax credit is claimed on a tax return and reduces the tax liability. If the credit is more than the tax liability, the unused credit will be issued as a check to the person claiming the credit
  • If you sell the home within 3 years, the entire $8000 tax credit must be payed back

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Garden Park at Daybreak: More Details Released

Kennecott Land and Ivory Homes finally sent out a press release about the new Garden Park village that is to be built for "empty nesters." The release gave some interesting details. Here is a summary:

  • Garden Park will be over 100 acres
  • Ivory Homes will build all 500 units
  • The community is age qualified, "where households typically must include at least
    one person that is age 55 years or better."
  • The community will have its own clubhouse and fitness facility
  • Grand opening should be in June
The location of this large addition to our existing Daybreak community is illustrated on the map. As with any plans that Kennecott Land may have, you can be assured that this map will change. However, from this map you can see the convenience of this location as it is literally in the middle of everything.

At first I found it odd that Kennecott Land would select Ivory homes as the exclusive builder for this community, but it seems to make sense when you consider the goals of each organization. Ivory Homes has been and constantly strives to be the "#1 homebuilder in Utah." This rank is associated with the actual number of units built. While building more (500 in all) will boost their numbers, I see this as more of a long-term relationship. Ivory Homes did not jump in at the beginning of Daybreak, but they understand that the whole of the West Bench will be developed by Kennecott Land. If Ivory Homes wants to keep their rank, especially in the Salt Lake Valley, they will need to form a long-term relationship with Kennecott Land. This Garden Park agreement seems to be the beginning of this long-term relationship.

As for Kennecott Land, I can only guess at their reasons. It does look like it would be much easier to deal with only one builder in a project that demands quality and needs to be designed as such. As one of the most experienced homebuilders in the region, Ivory Homes seems to be a logical selection to carry out this plan. Comments would be welcome here. Let me know what you think....

Friday, February 6, 2009

New $15,000 Tax Credit?

Recently the news has been inundated with stories featuring the new stimulus package currently being considered by the U.S. Senate. While partisan politics has definitely played its role in the different amendments to the bill, one measure submitted that was unanimously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. This provision would provide a tax credit of as much as $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price of the home whichever is less to anyone buying a primary residence during a one-year period beginning on the date of enactment.

This supersedes the $7500 tax credit that has been in effect since June of last year. However, the difference is more than just the amount of the tax credit. The $7500 tax credit is essentially an interest-free loan which must be paid back over the course of 17 years. According to U.S. News and World Report this new tax credit does not have to be paid back. It is yours as long as you occupy the new property as your primary residence for at least 2 years.

This measure also stipulates that you can claim this credit on your 2008 taxes even if you buy your home in 2009. So the $15,000 could be an immediate boost for those in position to buy a new home. Many may argue that this measure will probably just be cut from the legislation before it is passed, but as I write this the news is that the Senate has already agreed to the stimulus and will be passing it on to the President soon. The date on which the President signs this bill will be the first date that you will be able to qualify so if you are about to close a deal, you might want to hold off for just a little longer.

Mullins, L.. (2009, Feb. 6). The $15,000 Home Buying Tax Credit: 6 Things to Know. U.S. News and World Report Retrieved Feb. 6, 2009, from

Future Performing Arts in Daybreak

My first experience in the arts was the annual kindergarten Christmas play. I was fairly clumsy and uncomfortable in my little Christmas outfit, but my parents were ecstatic over my performance. This enthusiasm gave me pride in my performance, even though I only had one line to contribute to the script.

While theatre was not a staple in my family I did enjoy going to numerous live performances over the years including All My Sons, Annie Get your Gun, Les Miserables, and others. The importance of theater in our community is the opportunity it provides to experience the immediacy and power of live performances. The stage is a place where ideas are expressed and examined carrying our imagination to a new world.

Locally, we have seen interest in theatre realized in the Daybreak Community Theatre. This group, whose website you can visit here, has so far produced The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan.
Aristocats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and High School Musical are all slated for this season. As with any organization devoted to the arts, sponsorship and means to produce are always needed. One of the major issues with this group is a place to perform. South Jordan has been using the senior citizens center for many of the arts and desperately needs a venue for the performing arts. The need for such a facility exists, but how would we fund such a facility and where would it be located?

Salt Lake County recently released their Cultural Facilities Master Plan. This plan is based upon substantial research of demographics and market data. Does this plan have something in mind for Daybreak? Yes, The plan proposes the Daybreak Amphitheatre in Sunrise Mountain Park to be upgraded with a stage house and other improvements. This facility would accommodate outdoor performances during the warm months of the year and possibly provide limited space indoors for rehearsals and other performances. South Jordan City should be taking possession of this park sometime this year.

The Daybreak Amphitheatre will be a welcome upgrade to our community, but it does not satisfy the long-term need for a performing arts center. However, the county also announced plans to build three regional performing arts centers in the Salt Lake Valley. Apparently, the county will be able to free up some "play money" because they are finally paying off the Salt Palace expansion and will have decreasing payments for the Real Salt Lake soccer stadium. So now the question is where will they locate these performing arts centers. Of course, everyone would like a performing arts center nearby. Their obvious cultural benefits to the community are tremendous, but they also have substantial economic benefits to the community around them. One of these centers is planned to be located in the southwest corner of the salt lake valley. In my opinion I think that South Jordan should step up and vie for this amenity to be in our community.

The marketing data collected for the county indicates that South Jordan would be a decent place to site this center, but identifies other locations that are considered better markets. Herriman is listed in the report as a better prospect than South Jordan. However, when looking at the whole I think the center will ultimately be located near the town center of Daybreak.

While there are definitely other possible locations in the Southwest portion of Salt Lake County for this center, Daybreak would be a suitable location for a number of reasons. One of the best reasons is that the West Bench master plan indicates that Daybreak will be the hub for transit and major facilities in the southwest corner of the valley. With TRAX and the Mountain View corridor being built, residents from numerous communities could access the center quickly. Another plus would be the land deal that the county would likely get. While I am not too sure of the relationship of the Salt Lake County government and Kennecott Land, I know that the center would be an extremely attractive amenity in Daybreak and would be a selling point for Kennecott Land. This would also have a multiplier effect for their commercial properties as well. As for the county, you might recall the fallout between the county and Kennecott Land early last year over the West Bench plan. Now the director (who was hired mainly to deal with Kennecott Land and plan the West Bench) and a few planning managers in the county government have been put on paid administrative leave for mismanagement of the Planning Department. Hopefully that does not affect the placement of this center.

As for funds, the City of South Jordan has been fiscally responsible and is in a better position than most to vie for this center. With a good land deal from Kennecott, we might be seeing this $30 million to $35 million dollar arts center, which could include a 500-seat auditorium, a 250-seat black-box theater, rehearsal rooms, gallery space and classrooms in our Daybreak community in the future.
The question is when. While the two other centers are likely to be built in the near future, the Southwest center will not likely be built for years to come. This makes sense as the growth of the community supports such a facility, but waiting until there is more population and complimenting infrastructure will ensure the success of this new center.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House Scheduled

The dates for an open house and the dedication of the new Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple in Daybreak, South Jordan were announced Saturday by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The open house will take place weekdays from June 1 through Aug. 1, except for the July 4 and July 24 holidays. The temple will be dedicated Aug. 14-16, with 12 dedicatory sessions scheduled. The 130th operating temple for the church — the 13th in Utah — was announced at the October 2005 general conference. Groundbreaking ceremonies occurred Dec. 16, 2006.

The temple will serve roughly 83,000 residents in the western Salt Lake Valley. It is the fourth temple in the valley. South Jordan will be the first city in the world with two LDS temples.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Best Home Builder in Daybreak

Who is the best home builder in Daybreak? If you pose this question to a representative of Kennecott Land or possibly the HOA you will probably get an answer similar to, "Well, they are all really great." They might subsequently ask you about your price range. Of course you are going to get what you pay for, but comparing a builder that constructs luxury $500,000 homes with a town home builder fits the oft used phrase of comparing oranges and apples.

However, with Rainey Homes building homes that range from 199k to over 500k and Holmes Homes building homes that range from 129k to over 300k, things have become more comparable. Other builders have started to expand the price range of their offerings as the market for more luxury homes has softened in the last two years. The Daybreak Daily forums have also produced many opinions and have listed numerous complaints about various builders. However, most people tend to only post the bad things they have experienced and not all of the good things. You will find many more complaints than compliments on any forum.

Given this information I think that the most telling measure has been the polls located on this site and on the Daybreak Daily. They asked the same simple question: Who is the best builder in Daybreak? Interestingly, Rainey Homes looks to be the clear leader in both polls. The poll on this blog is actually fairly difficult to manipulate as the IP address is recorded when one votes so that they cannot vote twice. Second in line is Destination Homes which is agreed on by both polls as well. After that it is really a toss up.

In the end I do believe that all of the home builders are decent, but consumers are biased toward quality which is a more common feature with the more expensive homes built by Destination and Rainey. Other builders such as Ivory and Garbett homes have not been around in Daybreak long enough to make a fair comparison assessment. Especially when the product in Daybreak is not what many of these builders are used to providing. In the future, I have heard rumor that when the market for more expensive homes becomes more viable, other builders will build in Daybreak. Especially on the custom home lots.

If you have information that you would like to share about your builder, then please comment on this blog. I post everything as long as it is not spam or offensive. What do you think of the builders in Daybreak? Who is the Best? The worst?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Look Behind at South Jordan, Utah

For the greater part of last century South Jordan, Utah was a rural community on the fringe of Salt Lake County. While this town is still suburban, the growth of South Jordan in the last two decades has been phenomenal. You can look at the numbers from census data, but that does not quite capture the growth in a manner that shows the sweeping nature of the population wave that has swept over Salt Lake County. Today I found a website that shows this growth visually. Trulia Hindsight's map uses the year the properties were built to show the growth of streets, neighborhoods and cities over time. Click here to see South Jordan's growth over time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ivory Homes to Build Garden Park

Ivory Homes has recently announced that they will be the exclusive builder of the new Garden Park village in Daybreak. This village was recently approved by the South Jordan City Council as part of Daybreak's master plan. The general location of this community will be just West of Oquirrh Lake and North of Daybreak View Parkway.

Ivory homes will apparently build single-family ramblers that will feature main-floor master bedrooms. These homes are expected to range from the high $100s to $400s. They also announced that a specific clubhouse will be built for this community that will be specifically designed to accommodate active adults along with a large park convenient to the location.