Lindon • Utah County’s high-tech revolution is spreading down Interstate 15.
In this small town between Orem and Pleasant Grove, real estate firm Newmark Grubb Acres is marketing a $200 million “Mountain Tech” commercial and industrial development.
Two multi-story buildings already have popped up on the west side of I-15 at the 600 North/Pleasant Grove boulevard exit.
“We feel we’re the next step in the expansion of Silicon Slopes,” said Newmark senior vice president Ben Richardson, using the nickname for the proliferation of technology companies in recent years in Lehi, nine miles to the north.
“We’re in the chase for companies of the Amazon-type culture,” he added.
Richardson is marketing three business parks that are expected to eventually include 10 buildings with 650,000 square feet of Class A office and industrial space.
One 52,000-square-foot building is already in place, and its main tenant is Open Edge, a subsidiary of Global Payments that develops software to help clients customize and secure their payment systems.
A building just to the south will become home to Jive Communications, which provides over-the-cloud telecommunications services and hardware to companies and institutions.
“Utah is our home and Utah County is our sweet spot, our bread basket,” said Matthew Peterson, Jive’s chief marketing officer. He said 350 to 400 employees will occupy three of the building’s four stories when the consolidation of its operations is complete. The building is expected to be finished later this year.
“We had a lot of choices. … There’s awesome undeveloped property between Lehi and Spanish Fork,” Peterson said. But the Lindon property had room to grow and was just a couple of freeway stops away from the company’s primary source of employees, Utah Valley University in Orem, he said.
Across a newly paved street from those two buildings, developer Mark Weldon is wrapping up approval from Lindon City for an office and warehouse complex with additional room for two restaurants. A key warehouse feature, said Newmark vice president Steve Anderson, will be its 32 feet of clearance — four feet more than the current standard height.
“We’re anticipating more companies will be requesting this kind of clearance in the future,” he said. “It allows for another complete level of pallets, increasing the storage by 25 percent. That lets companies plan for future growth.”
The buildings also are being equipped with extra electrical capacity. “We overpowered them to make sure that, if what a company does is power based, we can provide anything that tenant requires,” Richardson said.
Developer Weldon has done most of his work in Tampa, Fla., where his company, WICP Commercial Properties is based. According to its website, WICP owns and manages 750,000 square feet of warehouse space and 300,000 square feet of office space.
After buying a home in Park City, Weldon started looking around at Wasatch Front development patterns and available land. In Lindon, Richardson said, “he found a piece of bank-owned land at a very good price” and snapped it up.
Lindon City officials are encouraged by Weldon’s plan, seeing it as a catalyst for more development along the road known as 600 North west of I-15 and Pleasant Grove Boulevard to the east. Real-estate signs on multiple vacant parcels along both sides of that road indicate that the conversion of grazing fields into business complexes will be accomplished soon.
“We’re excited to see some action around the [freeway] interchange,” said Lindon City Planner Hugh Van Wagenen. “Lindon and Pleasant Grove partnered to fund that interchange and both cities now are starting to see the fruits of those labors.”
The focus on high-tech companies is well placed, said Jive’s Peterson, who anticipates “a natural expansion of these types of buildings up along I-15. We pay taxes and have high-paying jobs. We expect the skyline to change around here.”