This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
They were supposed to be game-changers for their Utah County communities, boasting innovative architecture, walkable designs and the state's tallest building.
The Point in Lehi. Midtown Village in Orem. Southgate in Provo.
All three projects were announced with much fanfare but have yet to become the can't-miss attractions that were promised. Some have yet to become anything at all.
So what happened? Will they ever be finished? Or, for some, will they ever be started?
Project location • Lehi, near Point of the Mountain.
What was promised? • Developer Brandt Andersen, owner of the now-shelved Utah Flash (of the NBA's Development League), tapped Frank Gehry famed architect of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain to design an upscale community with homes, shops, offices, a wakeboard park, a 12,000-seat arena and, topping it off at 450 feet high, Utah's tallest skyscraper.
Lehi's City Council approved zoning and concept plans for the 85-acre project, which was expected to take 10 years to complete.
What's happening now? • It's presumed dead.
Kim Struthers, Lehi's planning director, and Doug Meldrum, the city's economic development boss, said the site, after some prep work, has remained quiet for 18 months.
At that time, Meldrum said he was told that the project was on hold until the economy improved. But he said he hasn't heard from Andersen since then.
"As far as I know, it's a dead project," Meldrum said.
Attempts to contact Gehry and Andersen were not successful. Andersen reportedly moved to California to explore business options. His G Code Ventures office in Provo is shuttered, and calls to the last phone number listed for him go unanswered.
"That's not a hopeful sign," Meldrum said.
Project location • State Street and 400 South in Orem.
What was promised? • Midtown Village was to represent the ultimate in upscale, walkable communities. "Live, Work, Shop, Here" was its motto, still proudly displayed on a billboard advertising the site. It even got recognition from Envision Utah.
The project was to feature two high-rises to house condos, offices, shops and restaurants. There were even plans to move Hale Center Theater to the 1-million-square-foot project.
The goal was to make it the jewel of Orem's State Street, finally shaking novelist Norman Mailer's pronouncement that the street was the ugliest main drag in America.
The city helped out, creating a special service district to provide the $7 million needed to pay for parking on the site.
What's happening now? • It is in foreclosure again.
Steve Earl, Orem's assistant city attorney, said Midtown Village's owners missed a June 1 payment on the service district loan, triggering the start of foreclosure proceedings. Under the loan agreement, the city's debt takes priority over all other debtors.
This isn't the first time it's happened. In the past, investors stepped forward to make the payment and stopped the foreclosure proceedings.
The project stands uncompleted. The south building is finished, with some of the condos occupied and a pizzeria and an IT company among the commercial tenants.
The north building is half-finished, surrounded by chain-link fencing and dried grass, with gaping holes where windows should be.
Larry Myler, the original developer, said earlier he is no longer connected with the project.
In previous interviews, Myler blamed the project's woes on the economy, saying the people in his target market empty nesters couldn't sell their homes and buy the condos.
Project location • Provo's East Bay Section on the south side.
What was promised? • City officials unveiled plans for a 684,000-square-foot office/retail complex, anchored by a Target store. The Boyer Co., a Salt Lake City developer and The Salt Lake Tribune's landlord, worked with Provo to clean up a former landfill.
The city also realigned The Reserve at East Bay Golf Course to accommodate the project.
What's happening now? • It's, in a word, dormant.
Dixon Holmes, Provo's deputy mayor of economic development, said the project's on hold until Target is ready to build a store in Provo. That, he said, would be in about two to three years.
"Because of competition in Canada," Holmes said, "the Southgate project is not on [Target's] short-term radar."
But Holmes is confident the project will be built, either when the Canada work is done or when the economy bounces back.
Attempts to contact The Boyer Co. were not successful.