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Taylorsville • As a reclaimed landfill and former gravel pit, the parcel at 6200 South and Bangerter Highway was a difficult sell. In the decade since the site was cleaned up, city officials still couldn't persuade businesses to set up shop.

That could change. The Taylorsville City Council, sitting as the Redevelopment Agency board, has approved a plan to create the Bennion Point Economic Development Area (EDA).

Now, the city will be able to use up to $14 million in tax increment — the taxes generated from the increased assessed value of a property within the area — to reimburse some of the infrastructure costs incurred by companies that choose to locate there.

Work to remediate the property, which was used as a gravel pit when the Utah Department of Transportation built the Bangerter Highway and as a Salt Lake County landfill, was completed in 2002. However, the additional costs of grading and adding infrastructure such as roads and sewers have made the 130-acre plot unattractive to developers, according to Donald Adams, Taylorsville economic development director.

"What we're trying to do is level that playing field," Adams said of the reimbursements.

City officials hope the EDA plan, approved 4-0 Wednesday at an Redevelopment Agency meeting, will turn the vacant land into a thriving business park adjacent to a few residential areas.

The plan envisions 14 acres with nearly 60 single family homes added near existing homes that are just outside the EDA; 9 acres of commercial and retail enterprises, such as a convenience store, a couple of fast-food restaurants and strip malls; 10 acres of offices; and 51 acres of flex space, or buildings that can be used for offices or light industrial purposes. The remaining acreage is for roads, parks and open space.

Lewis Young Robertson & Burningham Inc., a Salt Lake City firm commissioned to do a cost/benefit analysis, estimates that investing the tax increment in the EDA has the potential to bring $91.6 million in private investment and at least 800 jobs to Taylorsville.

Tax increment will be used for 15 years or until the amount reaches $14 million, whichever comes first. For now, the land is tax-exempt because it is owned by either the Utah Department of Transportation or Taylorsville.

"Both the new and existing housing will support the commercial development, and the new commercial growth will provide jobs to local residents," a report on the plan says. "Furthermore, the development will improve property tax values."

Another benefit of putting a business park at the location is that commercial traffic will flow opposite of the morning and evening rush hours on heavily used 6200 South, the report says. It added that traffic patterns, in turn, will cut down on the $90 million to $100 million in road improvements that would eventually be needed if the area were to become primarily residential.

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