LEHI, Utah (ABC4) – A development near Thanksgiving Point — with a proposed 5,400 apartments, a hotel, a school, and a church — is one step closer to reality.
On Thursday, Lehi’s Planning Commission voted 5-2 to recommend Thanksgiving Station over concerns from residents. The meeting included public comment and went until roughly 1 a.m.
“We’re not trying to build a New York City here, we’re not trying to build something that doesn’t fit,” said developer Andrew Bybee, who owns Stack Real Estate.
The development would be next to the FrontRunner stop in Lehi, a location that Bybee says will encourage residents to drive less. And the development itself is meant to have amenities within walking distance.
Plans aren’t finalized, but right now the proposal is for 5,400 units, a 300-room hotel, 600,000 square ft. of commercial and office space, an elementary school — even a church.
“Can I get to work in a 5 or 6-minute walk or scooter? Yes. Can I get my groceries? Yes. Can I get my hair done, yes. Can I get a bite to eat on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon or a Wednesday lunch? Yes. Can I go to the splash pad with my kids? Yes. Can I go throw the frisbee with my dog? Yes. Can I catch a movie? Yes. The idea is to have all of that within a walkable and close community,” said Bybee.
But on Thursday night, many residents expressed concerns over increased traffic and the lack of specifics around amenities. Others say they don’t trust what’s being promised.
Lehi Mayor Mark Johnson says it’s unclear what the plans will look like when they come before the city council for a vote.
“We’re talking about a potential development that could have a density increase of 1,000 to 5,400 and I’m not sure where that’s going to fall, I’m pretty sure the rest of the council doesn’t know where that’s going to fall,” said Johnson.
Still, he says, if it does get approved, he’s already in talks to get a bus rapid transit route for residents to cross I-15. He’s listening to all voices during this debate and says he understands what’s at stake as Lehi continues to grow.
“It’ll wake me up frequently in the middle of the night, and I’m worried about the best direction to take,” said Johnson.