Layton economic development booming

Sep 21 2013 - 7:19pm

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LAYTON -- The idea that economic development has slowed down in Layton simply isn't true, especially when you look at the numbers, a city economic development specialist says.

"People who are telling you Layton is not doing well economically, we're breaking records, it's just not true," Kent Andersen told a combined meeting of the city council and planning commission Thursday in a special state of the city community and economic development presentation. The report covered the last three years.

The growth and building spurt is visible in both the commercial and residential sectors, Andersen said. He said city officials expect to issue 300 single-family home permits this year, which is more than 2010 and 2011 combined, and commercial development and redevelopment is also on the rise. He said approximately $300 million has been invested in the community in the past three years.

The city issued 469 new business licenses, and the redevelopment of the old Ultimate Electronics and PetsMart stores added another 140,000 feet of commercial space to active use in the community.

"We have spectacular numbers to show a developer -- 2012 was a record year," Andersen said.

The feeling of potentially lagging in the economic development arena of Davis County is something city council member have discussed openly in the past year. Councilman Michael Bouwhuis worried at one point that the $250 million development in Station Park in Farmington was putting Layton behind its southern neighbor in trying to address economic development.

Andersen painted a different picture. 

He pointed to the infusion of revenue into the community from the addition of Black Turtle Services Inc., an inbound call center expected to have a $20 million impact on the city, and the new Weber State University building in the city, a new development being built on Main Street near the light rail station, as indications Layton is still a destination for developers.

He also outlined a plan addressing redevelopment of downtown plus plans to further the partnership with Hill Air Force Base as indications city leaders are working actively to continue the momentum.

In regard to Hill, city leaders have engaged in a partnership with the base to develop a joint-use runway that would expand opportunity for commercial use of a proposed

13,500-foot runway.

The airstrip would support heavy and large aircraft operations. Hill officials estimate 5,000 operations would be available to a civilian tenant per year, with the partnership. 

Andersen said the runway would help support the city's growing economy. City leaders are expected to join with Hill in submitting the joint use proposal to the Air Force sometime in the next three years.

City leaders were given clearance in July of this year to begin marketing the runway access to tenants.

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