UIPA officially establishes Utah’s first-ever rural inland port

The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) Board of Directors unanimously approved the Iron Springs Project Area resolution, creating Utah’s first-ever rural inland port. The decision was made during UIPA’s board meeting held Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Kanarraville. The new Iron Springs Project Area covers 820 acres and is part of the Commerce Crossroads development. 

“We are excited to announce the approval of the Iron Springs Project Area, which will provide a significant generational economic boost to Cedar City and surrounding areas,” said Ben Hart, UIPA Executive Director. “The Project Area will serve as a sustainable industrial park and transportation hub, brining new jobs and opportunities to the region. This is a historic moment for Utah, and we are grateful for the community’s support and collaboration throughout this process.”

In March 2023, UIPA and Iron County Economic Development Director Danny Stewart presented the process of the proposal to Iron County Commissioners. The framework and initial resolution to create an Inland Port Project Area in Iron County included public meetings and an environmental assessment of the land and its surroundings. 

Along with the final adoption at the April board meeting, UIPA hosted an overview presentation and panel discussion, which was well-supported by community members, stakeholders, leadership and government officials. The panel discussion featured Ben Hart, UIPA Executive Director; Evan Vickers, Utah State Senate Majority Leader; Danny Stewart, Cedar City Economic Development Director; Mike Bleak, Iron County Commissioner; Ryan Obray, Commerce Crossroads Project Executive, and Armando Tirado, Savage VP and Business Unit Leader, and provided insights on the Iron Springs Project Area’s inception and requirements for creation. 

“The intent of the Iron Springs Project Area is to make Iron County an even more attractive place for families to live and work,” said Ryan Obray, Commerce Crossroads Project Executive. “This will bring additional jobs and new, dynamic commerce opportunities. The exclusive and sustainable offerings available at Commerce Crossroads will improve transportation of raw materials and allow for more effective and efficient processing of goods and products for global companies.” 

The Commerce Crossroads industrial park will initially include office buildings, on-site products and services to construct tailored processing facilities for customers, and it will operate a new rail transload service, Rail Sync, as well as an expanded short-line service to individuals facilities. The company anticipates technology, construction material manufacturing, data centers, ecommerce and distribution, as well as office space and residential housing, to also be integrated. 

As a state entity, UIPA has a unique role to coordinate a statewide economic development and logistics system to ensure long-term sustainability and statewide value. To learn more about UIPA Project Areas and developments, visit inlandportauthority.utah.gov.