FARMINGTON -- It's becoming much easier to see the vision developers had in mind when they made plans for a $250 million shopping district in this city.
Slowly and surely, Station Park is taking shape. Farmington, with a growing population of 17,833 but a small retail base, will soon have shopping options galore.
The walls for a new Harmons grocery store are in place and a roof is now being put in place on the structure, which is at the southeastern end of the 67-acre site between Clark Lane and Park Lane.
Immediately to the north and south of Harmons, work on additional buildings is moving ahead, and to the south of the project site, work is ongoing for a new 16-screen Cinemark theater.
Harmons is scheduled to open in early May, and the theater is expected to open in June. The balance of the Station Park project, including the village aspect and lifestyle center, is scheduled to be initiated by May 1, according to Craig Trottier, vice president of development for CenterCal, the project developer. CenterCal is a joint venture with the California State Teachers Retirement System.
Trottier has released the names of at least three new tenants who will be in the building around Harmons.
The lineup will include Sports Authority in a 42,000-square-foot facility, Ulta Cosmetics in a 10,000-square-foot store and HomeGoods in a 25,000-square-foot structure. This is only the second HomeGoods to be located in the Beehive State, Trottier said. In all, Trottier estimates Station Park will have 150 tenants when it is complete in May 2012.
Trottier said the project is setting new standards for the state and region.
"There's nothing like it in the state, not even close," Trottier said.
In the meantime, the project continues to move forward on several fronts. One of those fronts includes formal approval recently by the city council on a plan to subdivide the property on which several of the building pads sit. The subdivision within the project will allow some of the tenants to own the property, while other tenants could lease the property from CenterCal. Trottier called it a move taken for tax purposes.
In another move, design plans for a park in the project have been moved and upgraded. Trottier said an additional $1 million will be spent on a park, at the south end of the project near the theater, that will include a number of amenities, such as an outdoor skating rink, and a water display being designed by the same firm that designed the water display in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The undertaking involves so much detail, developers have a regular monthly meeting with city officials to stay on top of moves, changes and modifications.
City Manager Dave Millheim said city officials are meeting with CenterCal regularly to ensure that all the elements of the project come together.
Years in the making, Station Park has been promoted as a transit-oriented development with a mix of retail, entertainment, restaurant, office and hotel space. The city's Redevelopment Agency approved approximately $18 million in tax deferments years ago, as part of a package with the county, sewer district and school district to help move the project forward.
Plans have called for 900,000 to 1 million feet of development on property near the commuter rail station, including RDA property.
Development projections have included a six-story hotel, about 60 shops and 10 to 15 restaurants. Developers touted a preliminary tenant list including a Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Ross, Staples, J.C. Penney, Lane Bryant and a Bed Bath & Beyond.
However, Trottier has said some new companies will be coming to Utah as part of the project development. He grins when pressed to share names, merely suggesting the project will exceed people's expectations. He said there will be some high-end restaurants and new companies eager to do business in the Beehive State for the first time.