WEST VALLEY JOURNAL, October 2009, by Kimberly Martinez   

The possible Granger Crossings’ RDA will include approximately 100 businesses and will stir redevelopment to liven up this tired business district.The possible Granger Crossings’ RDA will include approximately 100 businesses and will stir redevelopment to liven up this tired business district.

The West Valley City Redevelopment Agency Board authorized a study to determine if there is enough blight at Granger Crossings, a business district on 3500 South from the I-215 overpass to Redwood Road, to establish it as a redevelopment project area so it can get a needed facelift.

The study was contracted to Bonneville Research, although Mark Nord, West Valley City business development manager, said he’s confident the findings will determine Granger Crossings a perfect candidate for a RDA due to the age and condition of many of the buildings. Following the results, the approval of the Granite School Board is required since those tax dollars go into the RDA for a period of 10 to 15 years to support the redevelopment.

City officials have met with the business owners to obtain feedback about the possible RDA. Nord said they have all been optimistic even though property owners are often leery about their property being deemed as blighted.

“Many business owners would like to expand but with the state of the economy, they haven’t been able to and this will allow them to move forward,” he said.

George Lopez, chairman of Granger Crossings and owner of Don Antonio’s Mexican Restaurant, believes the RDA is just what the area needs. He said despite city efforts of providing a tool for redevelopment, not a lot of movement has taken place. The city’s community and economic department gives Granger Crossing’s property owners the opportunity to apply for an improvement grant where the city will match up to $30,000 toward an improvement project as long as the business owner fronts up 50 percent of the funding. Lopez said business owners just don’t have the initial capital to take advantage of the grant and the RDA is what it will take to get the ball rolling to get this business district up to par and mesh with the developments within the city.

“Granger Crossings is the gateway to the city and we have been the last area to get attention,” Lopez said. “Now the city has finally stepped in to help us get on the same page as other business districts. With nice frontages, plazas and lighting, it won’t look so tired and unappealing to customers.”

Nord agrees the Granger Crossings is in a special location and needs additional support.

“Granger Crossings is one of the city’s entrances since it’s near the freeway connection and it hasn’t been what the city would like as an entrance or gateway,” he said. “The RDA will begin the process in getting it to where we would like it to be.”