Take a drive down 1-15 between Salt Lake City and Provo, and you'll see steelwork, cranes, and workers installing marble and glass. There's a commercial building boom reverberating throughout the Wasatch Front. From office space to manufacturing and retail, the skyline is changing--which bodes well for the strength of the state's economy.
The Wall Street Journal noted earlier this year, "Utah's Economy is Booming," and one of the signs of that growth, according to Lora Munson, the executive vice president at Colliers International, is the office space growing to meet the demand. "The biggest thing we're seeing is the sheer amount of office space that has been constructed within the last 18 months," says Ms. Munson.
Recently completed construction projects include the Mountain America Credit Union tower in Sandy, which relocated from West Jordan to its new digs along 1-15, expanding its footprint with 327,000 square feet of office space.
Another notable relocation is that of Pluralsight, which broke ground on its new 350,000 square-foot headquarters last fall. The company is making its move from Farmington to Draper, which is considered part of Silicon Slopes--a moniker used for the tech corridor from the south end of the Salt Lake Valley through Provo, as well as Park City.
Just around the Point of the Mountain, Podium opened its 125,000 square-foot building in Lehi, and not far from that. Innovation Pointe is well underway. The sprawling Lehi office park will ultimately include four buildings on 40 acres. It's first building, Innovation Pointe One, is complete and Innovation Pointe Two has already begun pre-leasing.
One of the new Innovation Pointe tenants is WeWork. "WeWork is a collaborative office space concept," says Bryan Welch, the head of communications and PR at Colliers International. "They've really come into the market with a splash. They're the global leader of shared space development and have become an icon for incubator space throughout the world. So tech companies, startups that are looking to develop concepts, share ideas-they're a perfect match for those type of environments where you have a great deal of synergy and innovation. Looking ahead, when incubator space is accessible within the market, more commercial construction will need to take place as hyper-growth companies expand to corporate headquarters and further grow."
Mr. Welch explained, "WeWork typically looks at highly urbanized downtown environments...