With Governor Herbert and other lawmakers throwing their support behind relocating the Utah State Prison from Draper the discussion is heating up considerably the last few weeks. Just as the aging Sugar House prison was moved to the point of the mountain location in the middle of the last century the surrounding community is becoming interested in other uses with the 700 acres that the prison currently sits on in Draper.
The discussion always comes back to the cost the taxpayer would bear for relocation. News articles reported that when Governor Huntsman commissioned a study to relocate the prison in 2005 the cost to build a new prison would be around $471 Million. Some of that cost would be recouped in the value of the land which was then calculated to be $93 Million or around $3 per square foot on the land. Opponents to the move have argued that it would be too much of a loss for the taxpayer on the move. Supporters argue that it would be an economic boon by attracting more employers and investment for the surrounding communities to benefit from.
Clearly things are heating up at the South end of the Salt Lake County and North end of Utah County. With companies like Adobe locating their large office campuses in Lehi, developers building 3,200 homes in Bluffdale, and Ivory Commercial breaking ground on a 40 acre Industrial Park just down the street from the Prison on 14600 South, demand for more developable land is increasing.