(KUTV) — Once Utah's old prison is relocated, money and employment are anticipated to soar.
Zac Rigby spends most of his day rushing between his two Quench It! soda shop locations, one in Eagle Mountain, the other within rocks throw of the soon to be demolished state prison at the point of the mountain.
Rigby opened his second location about a year ago off Porter Rockwell Boulevard.
He claimed he chose his most recent location due of the growth that was already present and the growth he anticipates to see once the prison is closed, which is directly across the street from the southern side of the former prison.
"We knew that the prison would be moving and that would be a benefit,” Rigby said.
For years the state has been in the process of relocating the prison from the point of the mountain, inside the city of Draper, to the west side of Salt Lak City.
State leaders wanted to move the prison to free up 600 acres of prime real estate for development, in the heart of the valley.
“It’s unusual to have 600 acres, blank canvas, between two of the fastest growing metropolitan regions in the country,” said Alan Matheson, executive director of The Point of The Mountain Land Authority.
Matheson was tapped by state leaders to help direct growth at the point of the mountain. He said the state hopes to create a self-sustaining community on those 600 acres.
Matheson said the goal is to encourage housing, jobs, entertainment, and schools in a place that is grown in an environmentally sound way.
“It's designed as a 15-minute city, which means you can access the things you need in your day-to-day life, within a 15-minute walk,” Matheson said..
It is estimated that once the old prison is razed and the community around it develops, it will bring in $7 billion a year to state coffers and create 46,000 new jobs.
Ryan Beck with Envision Utah helped put together the plan for the incoming development at the point of the mountain, he says jobs will be significant.
“These are good jobs that are coming, these are six-figure jobs that we are looking at these life sustaining, you can raise your family on jobs like this,” Beck said.
In addition to the 600 acres to be developed at the old prison site, there are more than 20,000 undeveloped acres around that.
With the prison gone, the stigma of having a home or business near the old site will be gone as well, freeing up all those acres for growth.
For Rigby, he said profits at his point of the mountain location have been growing year to year, and he hopes, once the prison goes away, that growth will be even bigger.
“I think it will be a great thing," he said. "I think we're going to see really rapid growth."