SYRACUSE -- The sale of 215 acres of open land, once belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to an area developer could bring 1,200 or more new jobs to the area, the mayor speculates.
The parcel, north of Syracuse High School, between 1000 West and 2000 West, is to be developed as light manufacturing, with the hope of bringing 1,200 jobs to the city during the next three years, Mayor Jamie Nagle said.
The Ninigret Group, L.C., of Salt Lake City and New York City, has signed a letter of intent to buy the property adjacent to the future State Road 193 expansion area.
"It will be the single biggest thing we can do to address the financial strain on (the city's) residents," Nagle said of the tax base the project will provide.
Because of a downturn in the economy and a slowdown in home construction in Syracuse, the city has been challenged by tight budgets, with leaders looking at a bond to fund road repairs.
"These new revenues can be used to fund road repairs and other important city services," Nagle said.
The project also provides Syracuse and Davis County with new, higher-quality employment and the creation of a commerce sector, Nagle said.
The light-manufacturing jobs created likely will include technology, packaging and shipping, and manufacturing and fabrication.
"This development will be an invaluable nexus for local, national and international retail and business opportunities," City Manager Robert Rice said.
"We have seen what Ninigret has done in Salt Lake County some 20-plus years ago by converting farmland to a class A business park and employment center, and we look forward to this development as an enhancement to Syracuse city as the 'Gateway to Antelope Island,'aa" Rice said.
The Ninigret Group is a multifaceted real estate company that includes development, construction, property management and real estate finance. Ninigret has developed and owned properties in Utah for more than 30 years, including the 178-acre Ninigret Park and 400-acre Ninigret Technology Park in Salt Lake City.
"We are very proud to have the opportunity to work with Syracuse city and Davis County to undertake this project," Ninigret owner Randolph Abood said.
"Nothing is easy in this unprecedented economic climate, and Syracuse and Davis understand that old-fashioned hard work and mutual cooperation are required to entice strategic companies to expand here," Abood said.
With the continued assistance of Tom Freeman, senior director of Commerce Real Estate Solutions, who has been "invaluable" throughout this process, Abood said, he is confident those involved will bring the project to fruition.
Davis County has been a partner in this process, with the development fitting the goals of the Office of Community and Economic Development to enhance the overall quality of life for county residents, Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs said.
"Our partnerships with the cities have proven fruitful in enhancing our opportunities," Downs said. "This region brings another opportunity for job creation and development to occur."
"Today, we see yet another great Utah example of what Gov. Gary Herbert has called 'unprecedented partnerships'" said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
Currently, 75 acres of the 215-acre parcel purchased by Ninigret is zoned as commercial-industrial, and it will be that piece that will be part of the first phase of the project, Nagle said.
The remaining portion of the property will later be zoned from agricultural to commercial-industrial for future phases of the development, Nagle said. She said zoning adheres to the city's master plan.