Officials discuss plans for future development at state prison site in Draper

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DRAPER, Utah – As a new prison is being built in Salt Lake County, many wonder what will happen with the current prison site in Draper. The new prison’s construction is expected to be complete in summer of 2020.

“There’s been some interesting ideas, one person said the prison site should become a jousting park, so, I’d never thought of that,” said Troy Walker, Mayor of Draper City.

Walker is on the Point of the Mountain commission and says, as far as plans go, it’s a blank slate.

“I don’t know how the state is going to handle the prison, what they’re going to end up doing with it--if they’ll sell the property, lease it," Walker said.

He said the goal is, "to get the highest and best use out of it and make the largest return not only to our city, but I mean the county and the state."

The commission hired Envision Utah to consult the commission, conduct research, and figure out the logistics.

For the past few months, they've been busy listening.

“Common ideas tend to be extending public transportation through the area," said Ari Bruening, COO of Envision Utah. "At the workshops a lot of people said that the prison site should be a high density mixed-use area."

Other ideas include an NFL stadium, a university campus, a research center, moving the zoo to the site, a paragliding area, recruiting more tech companies, and putting in more nature trails.

The state owns the more than 700 acres were the prison currently sits, but other land owners own more than 20,000 acres of undeveloped land around it.

The goal of the commission is to come up with a way to use the prison land to catalyze the growth of the entire area.

“I think our future's very bright," Walker said. "If we do this right it'll be the economic engine for the next 100 years."

Starting next month, Envision Utah will compile public input and come up with a few different options that will go through another round of public comment. By this time next year, a definitive plan will likely be in place.

“This area is an opportunity most states would kill for," Bruening said. "I mean, to have this available land in the middle of a dynamic, growing region is an unusual thing and it could become something special."

To give your input and learn more about what could be done with the site, click here.