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Daybreak bustles with new residents, businesses

(Utah Pulse) Five years ago Kennecott Land, a company owned by Rio Tinto -- the world's third largest mining company and owner of Kennecott Utah Copper -- opened Daybreak, a sustainable master planned community on 4,200 acres near the foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains in South Jordan City.

Daybreak is the first fully master-planned community to be undertaken in Utah and features eclectic shops and restaurants, unique architecture, urban parks and transportation options, all within bustling neighborhoods. Over the course of its estimated 20-year build out, the mixed-use community will grow to an estimated 20,000 homes, 60,000 residents and approximately 14 million square feet of commercial space.

Sustainable Development
"It's a great story for Rio Tinto, a mining company, to do adaptive reuse of a reclamation site into what has been largely touted as one of the best sustainable developments in the country," says Don Whyte, president of Kennecott Land.

Indeed it is. While mining is still going strong six miles away at Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon mine -- one of the largest open pit copper mines in the world -- the Daybreak community is thriving with an influx of businesses, 2,050 homes sold, and approximately 8,000 residents. The University of Utah is building an 180,000 square-foot medical center there and Zions Bank is opening a branch near what is called "SoDa Row," in the middle of four residential villages in the Daybreak community. What's more, Black Diamond Gymnastics and Sport Centers, based in Park City, will open its second location in Daybreak during August. Other businesses to locate in Daybreak include several restaurants, a children's boutique, a barber shop and a dry cleaner. Additional tenants will be announced over the coming weeks.

"The SoDa Row Village Center businesses are locally owned and operated with owners who have a desire to not just operate a business but be part of a community," says Scott Schwendiman, commercial development manager for Kennecott Land. "They caught the vision of what Daybreak is all about." The 68,000 sq. ft center has five uniquely designed buildings that are each built to the LEED Gold standard and are located across from Oquirrh Lake at 4709 Daybreak Parkway.

Another state-of-the-art building in the community is Daybreak Corporate Center, which also serves as the Rio Tinto Regional Center. The center was awarded LEED® Platinum Certification by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) and is the first LEED Platinum building in Utah. Platinum certification is the highest certification awarded from USGBC and demonstrates energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

"Daybreak is able to move forward with commercial and retail development even in the slow economy because increasingly, people in the valley desire unique places and products that have character and are eager to support the businesses. The businesses that are joining us are eager to be a part of Daybreak because of strong demographics and strong growth, but also because they see what is possible when quality development meets committed vision," adds Schwendiman.

According to Scott Kaufmann, vice president of commercial development for Kennecott Land, commercial development lagged behind residential development while businesses waited for the critical mass, but the "mass" has arrived. "We are succeeding in the face of extremely difficult market conditions," he says, "which speaks to the need of this kind of project in the marketplace."

Original Article