Making the Point: In Salt Lake City, Helping Transform Potential Into Possible
Once the site of a former prison, The Point is on a meteoric rise toward becoming one of the stars of Utah’s Silicon Slopes—and it’s getting there with cross-disciplinary support from Ballard Spahr.
When the Utah State Prison closed in July 2022 following the opening of the state-of-the-art Utah State Correctional Facility, it meant 600 acres opened up in the very heart of one of the most desirable areas for development in the entire country, a veritable utopia for high-tech companies, game-changing startups, and venerable established companies. The Salt Lake Tribune called it “the economic opportunity of a lifetime.”
“The Point has attracted interest from developers across the nation,” said Jacey Skinner, a member of the Government Policy and Public Affairs Group in Ballard Spahr’s Salt Lake City office. “For a parcel of this size to become available for redevelopment is an opportunity of almost unfathomable magnitude, and stakeholders have rightly approached it with a great deal of thought and consideration for its highest and best use.”
In 2020, Ms. Skinner and Real Estate Partner Steven P. Mehr began working with The Point of the Mountain State Land Authority to coordinate the site’s redevelopment. Phase I planning for the first 100 acres began in earnest in August 2022, with demolition starting in November. The Point is envisioned to become a human-centered development where residents can meet their daily needs without walking or taking transit for more than a quarter of an hour. The Point will be connected to existing transit and trails and will have green space and residences flanking a central core of entertainment options and office space.
To help the Land Authority, which was created in 2018, deliver on the high expectations for the project, Mr. Mehr and Ms. Skinner called in support from across Ballard Spahr’s 15 offices and five departments. Colleagues from the Tax Group and Finance Department’s P3/Infrastructure and Public Finance teams provided tax advice, and those in Intellectual Property offered counsel on trademarks.
“One reason we were chosen for this representation is that we absolutely have the on-the-ground local market knowledge and the deep bench and resources of a national firm,” Mr. Mehr said. “With a project of this magnitude and promise, organizers knew they had to choose carefully. It’s a real honor to have been selected and to help make this incredibly exciting chapter of Salt Lake City’s future become reality.”