The following was announced on Thursday, Dec. 17:
The Point of the Mountain State Land Authority (the Authority) has announced the selection of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) as the lead firm to create a master plan for The Point. The announcement comes after a months-long competitive process to solicit proposals from internationally recognized planning firms. SOM is one of the largest and most influential architecture, interior design, engineering and urban planning firms in the world. They are known for designing some of the most technically and environmentally advanced buildings and significant public spaces. SOM’s interdisciplinary team of global and local experts include some of the best and brightest minds in the industry.
“SOM and its subconsultants possess the expertise to support The Point’s delivery of an iconic community intended to stimulate economic development, preserve the natural environment, improve air quality and enhance Utahns’ quality of life,” said Alan Matheson, The Point executive director. “The depth and breadth of their planning portfolio is a testament to their capabilities. Their global experience coupled with their strong Utah connections makes them the perfect fit for the job.”
A dozen firms initially proposed on the project, and The Point’s selection committee narrowed the field to three outstanding finalists: SOM, AECOM and Perkins + Will. To guide their concepts, the Authority provided each firm with the results of the recent statewide survey conducted by The Point, as well as a report written by The Point’s five working groups. Key survey findings showed Utahns want parks, open space, and trails on the site, with an approach to sustainable development that will improve air quality and enhance quality of life. The working group report outlined six key vision elements that will be used to inform the creation of the master plan: vibrant community, multimodal transportation, economic growth, innovation, sustainability and collaboration.
“We were inspired when we received the community survey results and the impressive working group reports. It is evident that Utahns have been seriously considering the issues of environmental and social sustainability, and the conditions that allow innovation and businesses to thrive,” said Carrie Byles, a partner at SOM. “It is this caliber of thought leadership and community support that can make the master plan happen and SOM could not be more honored to be part of it.”
The Authority is scheduled to start the master planning process early next year, with completion scheduled for 2021. Multiple opportunities for public involvement will be available throughout the process. Work to create the plan will be divided into five main stages:
- Stage I- Identify Opportunities & Constraints
- Stage II- Develop Alternatives
- Stage III- Refine Preferred Alternative
- Stage IV- Refine Master Plan
- Stage V- Finalize Master Plan
“SOM is honored to work with state and local officials on this once-in-a-generation strategic initiative to prototype a new kind of sustainable innovation community that showcases a breathtaking natural setting and resonates authentically with Utah’s unique future-focused spirit,” said Doug Voigt, a partner at SOM. “We envision a collection of distinctive and compact transit-connected neighborhoods where everything a person needs is within a 15-minute walk. This will be a locally loved and globally respected place with an environmentally attuned lifestyle that attracts world class talent and leading companies.”
“We are deeply committed to a highly collaborative approach that meaningfully involves the public in the process to create the master plan,” said State Representative Lowry Snow, co-chair of The Point of the Mountain State Land Authority. “Given the generational significance of what happens at The Point, this is a pivotal moment for Utahns to shape the future for their children and grandchildren. We are confident that we have selected the right team to make that happen.”