LAYTON -- After two years of delays, a bit of frosty weather mixed with snow couldn't keep developers from breaking ground on a unique, transit-oriented development next to the Layton FrontRunner station.
Eleven officials used gold shovels to formally turn dirt for Kays Crossing on Thursday morning, touting the project as a first-of-its-kind partnership with Utah Transit Authority and a key element in the redevelopment of the city's downtown.
The project involves a four-story TOD building consisting of 156 units -- one- and two-bedroom apartments -- located just north of the FrontRunner platform. There will be a commercial element to the mixed-use project on the ground level.
Mayor Steve Curtis describes the project as another exciting step in the redevelopment of south Main Street. He vowed city officials will have more to come.
"We've anticipated this day for a long time. Partnerships are important in the economic development of a community and Layton understands that. This transit-oriented development is key to the foresight and redevelopment of downtown," Curtis said.
The project will be located on 2.75 acres and will include two levels of parking, one underground and another 2,400 square feet at the street level.
The projected completion date is in the spring of 2014, according to developer Jared Nielson, manager of MV Properties.
The project represents a collaborative effort among a developer, the city and the UTA.
The project is a first of its kind, according to Christina Oliver, a TOD Department manager for the UTA.
UTA was involved in a land swap with the development company, as part of the project delay. It is the first project located immediately adjacent to a FrontRunner station on UTA property.
Oliver estimates up to 20 percent of the residents living in the development will use FrontRunner to commute.
Construction costs are estimated at approximately $17 million, with some of the funding coming from the city's Redevelopment Agency.
The RDA will front $600,000 for the project with another $180,000 to be added over a 10-year period.
Jim Smith, head of the Davis County Chamber of Commerce, cited the vision the project creates. He said access to FrontRunner will encourage more people to use the transit system and will also trend toward people walking more.
Mike Allegra, general manager of UTA, said the TOD project is one component of a vision to have key areas of Utah linked together by mass transit.
He noted UTA has more openings this year, beginning with a new airport line in April and a rail extension to Draper in August.
There will also be a rail connection to Sugar House in Salt Lake City as well as a move to all electric buses on the University of Utah campus this year.
"These kinds of things are systemic to our vision for 2040," Allegra said.