LL PU T OU
Sites and Infrastructure
Quality of Life
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What a great time to be in Sandy! Whether visiting for the first time or moving in on a permanent basis, welcome to one of the greatest communities in the State of Utah. Sandy has been touted as “The Ultimate Base Camp” with four world-class ski resorts literally at our back door. Located at the foothills of the stunning Wasatch mountain range, there are no bad seats in the house. Sandy has a highly-educated workforce, an unrivaled quality of life, and a vibrant commercial base located conveniently along the commercial corridor of Utah’s busiest interstate. Sandy’s population base is close to 100,000 making it the fifth largest city in the state. With Sandy residents holding one of the highest education levels in the state, companies are attracted to the availability of a young, talented workforce. Companies that offer high paying employment such as E*TRADE, Cadence, New York Life and Workers Compensation Fund of Utah are now calling Sandy home. New Class A office space is currently in the planning stages that will add thousands of square feet for companies looking to expand into the Sandy market. These projects offer spectacular views of the mountains and are located in the synergistic civic corridor in the Heart of Sandy. Sandy’s business climate is booming. With the completion of large-scale construction projects such as the new multi-million dollar Rio Tinto Stadium, home to the MLS Champions, Real Salt Lake, Sandy has only seen the beginning. More projects along the manicured civic corridor are in the planning stages with developments implementing a mixed use theme incorporating style and convenience. Sandy is also home to other unique destinations such as The Living Planet Aquarium, South Towne Shopping Center and Momentum Climbing Gym along with great restaurants, hotels and shopping. We invite you to build upon the foundation of Sandy’s dynamic business climate and to become a part of this great community.
Randy Sant Director of Business & Economic Development Sandy City
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Market Overview Workforce
Sandy City is known not only as a desirable place to live, but also for its proximity to a wide variety of recreational and cultural opportunities. A growing population is a plus for attracting highly desirable companies to the area. The area’s steady growth has remained consistent nearly every year for the past three decades. And since 2000, the area’s growth has outpaced both the state and the nation. For example, the city’s population grew from 6,438 in 1970 to more than 96,660 people today, a 1,500 percent increase. The area experienced a positive net new migration the past 15 years.
Source: U.S. Census
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Sandy City Hall Sandy continually attracts highly educated and skilled workers into the fabric of its residential population. This gives higher paying employers opportunities to locate within the city, and gives them a competitive advantage in Utah.
According to the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, about 90.2 percent of Utah residents have attained at least
ACT Composite & Category Scores 2009 Categories
Source: Utah Education Association
Salt Lake Community College, Miller Campus located in Sandy
Percent of High School Seniors Passing AP Exams & Earning College Credit 19.79% 19.59% 19.29% 15.29% 13.39% 10.1% 10.09%
CA Source: The College Board
a high school degree, ranking Utah 6th in the nation. Furthermore, Utah high school students perform well on national standardized tests, often out-performing the nation. Twenty-five percent of Sandy’s residents between the ages of 25 and 44 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, above the average of other cities throughout Utah and the Salt Lake area. The city’s numerous colleges and universities provide advanced educational opportunities to its residents, and the enrollment in 4-year institutions in the Salt Lake metro area is more than 30,000 students. Additionally, technical colleges enroll nearly 56,000 students statewide and provide valuable skills training to
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Educational Attainment Less than 9th grade 1.3% Graduate or professional degree High school, no diploma 12.3% 3.6% High school diploma or GED 21.7%
Bachelor’s degree 25.4%
Some college, no degree 26.7%
Associate’s degree 8.9% Source: Environmental Systems Research Institute
Population by Age 2009 est. Age
0 to 4
5 to 14
15 to 19
20 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 to 74
75 to 84
Source: Economic Development Corp. of Utah
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graduating high school students, as well as the incumbent worker base. The University of Utah also offers highly accredited programs in the advanced science, engineering and medical fields. In 2007 and 2008, the University of Utah awarded nearly 4,900 bachelor’s degrees. Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) Sandy Center serves approximately 3,600 students each semester and awarded 2,900 associate degrees in 2007 and 2008. Among the 1,200 community colleges in the nation, SLCC ranks 7th in the number of associate degrees awarded. To facilitate the growing number of students
on campus, the school recently added two new buildings. Sandy is also home to Strayer University, Salt Lake Campus, located off of Interstate-15. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in highdemand fields such as accounting, business, education, health services administration, information systems and public administration.
The median age of all residents in Sandy is 32, younger than the U.S. median age of 36.4. Sandy’s workforce is also younger than the average U.S. worker; 40 percent
Plaza area at Jordan Commons
of the city’s population is in the early career workforce (ages 25 to 49).
Sandy’s presence as an upperend suburban community helps keep recreational and cultural amenities prevalent within the city. Personal income and median household incomes are above state and national averages. Sandy’s per capita income level is currently $28,261 and continues to show steady growth (56 percent per year since 1990).
Sandy City Average Household Income Household Income
Less than $15,000
$15,000 - $24,999
$25,000 - $34,999
$35,000 - $49,999
$50,000 - $74,999
$75,000 - $99,999
$100,000 - $149,999
$150,000 - $199,999
More than $200,000
Source: Economic Development Corp. of Utah
A youth soccer game at one of Sandy’s parks.
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The South Towne Corporate Center in Sandy
Business Climate Sandy’s strong assets and overall business climate give it unique competitive advantages in attracting new companies and in retaining its existing employer base. The costs of doing business in Sandy is traditionally more economical than in other parts of the state, making the city an attractive place for firms that compete on cost. Many professionals choose Sandy City’s business districts and prime commercial locations over lower real estate costs and cheaper operating environments elsewhere. Sandy is considered a thriving retail hub for Salt Lake Valley’s south end, but a diverse set of
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industries are discovering the city as a place to establish corporate headquarters and high technology businesses. In the past 15 years, corporate offices, high technology and sophisticated technology manufacturing have made their way into the city’s business landscape. This has brought more patrons to retail businesses in the area.
Today’s Economic Base Business costs in Utah are among the lowest in the country, including rates of labor unionization, corporate tax and overall tax burden. Utah ranks 10th lowest in the nation with 5.8 percent of the total employed being union members in 2008
and 2009. Additionally, the Utah Governors Office of Economic Development targets large job-creating companies with incentive programs that are available to qualifying companies at both the state and city level. The state’s attractive business cost environment has not gone overlooked by companies throughout the United States. and the world. In the past few years, a significant change in leadership and structure at the state level has produced new programs and strategies to compete in a global market.
Labor Force and Employment The Sandy area total labor force has expanded at an exponential rate with
Employed Population by Industry Government 2%
Construction 8% Manufacturing 3%
Services 38% Retail Trade, Transportation & Public Utilities 29%
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate 14%
51,790 total employees, and 575,000 people working within the entire Salt Lake County area. Employment levels have expanded to keep pace with the surging growth in development. Despite the changing economic climate, unemployment rates in Sandy, and the rest of Utah, have consistently remained among the lowest in the nation. As of November 2009, the Utah unemployment
rate was 6.3 percent, while the country average was 10 percent.
Agriculture & Mining 2% Source: Environmental Systems Research Institute
expansion throughout the city with retail hubs such as The Commons @ South Towne and Quarry Bend developments. However, the city has relatively low employment concentrations in industries such as manufacturing, fabrication and heavy industrial. Higher employment concentrations are found in the transportation and utilities sectors, largely due to residential
Industry Mix and Growth Sandy, which has traditionally been a retail center, has expanded development in the Class A and B office products, developed and expanded high technology companies within the city, and has diversified the style of retail
Property Tax Comparisonâ€”Tax Year 2009 .003896
Neighboring and Similarly Sized Cities .003154
.001676 .001630 .001627 .001356
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Cost of Doing Business
living in an area with an outstanding quality of life part of the compensation they receive. Employers are often able to attract workers at a lower cost because some workers view the area as an ideal place to live.
103.8 100.0 95.6
Source: Milken Institute
Corporate Income Tax Rates
Source: Federation of Tax Administrators
growth, expanded public transportation systems, road construction and greater tourism success.
Occupations and Wages The occupations held by Sandy residents largely reflect the type of industries that comprise the city’s economic landscape. Sandy is well represented in some highskill occupations such as management, finance, architecture and engineering. On average, Salt Lake area wages are lower in nearly all occupation
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classifications compared to other areas of the U.S. However, Sandy’s medium family income exceeds $80,000. The region has traditionally enjoyed an average to below average cost of living compared to the rest of the U.S. But it is increasing to match the national average. The region’s desirable quality of life could be a factor in determining future wages. Many Salt Lake area residents, particularly those born and raised in the area, will accept a lower wage in order to stay in Utah. In essence, they consider
Sandy has benefited from a population that has an entrepreneurial mindset, and is committed to developing small, cutting-edge businesses. The city’s collective energy, creativity and attitude toward adventure and risk in creating new businesses have contributed to the state receiving national recognition for its commitment to entrepreneurship. The Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus located in Sandy (also referred to as the Entrepreneurship Center) boasts several small business programs, training and the Miller Business Innovation Center (MBIC), the largest publicly funded business incubator in Utah. The campus provides an environment that allows local entrepreneurs to pursue their respective business ideas, network with each other and link with other mentors in the community. The Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce is another resource for start-up businesses, and assists in the proliferation of existing businesses by providing a variety of networking and training opportunities. Also, it provides a corridor for interaction between government resources and business needs. Finally, the chamber frequently works as a liaison between budding businesses and existing businesses. This is evident in the annual Business to Business Expo sponsored by the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce.
Taxes and Incentives Sandy’s local property taxes are one of the lowest in the Salt Lake area. In fact, over the past several years, the actual Sandy property tax rate has consistently fallen. This lower comparative tax burden
benefits both residents and businesses. Residents take home a larger percentage of their pay, while employers can pass along their tax savings in the form of lower prices or increased employee wages. Utah’s corporate tax rate is 5 percent, which is one of the lowest in the Intermountain area. Additionally, there are no taxes on inventory, no wholesale tax and no unitary tax on worldwide profits. Generally, Sandy businesses benefit from other lower business costs that usually affect the bottom line, such as low labor unionization, a low unemployment tax rate and workers compensation rates, when compared to the national average. All three of these factors affect the relative cost of labor for a firm; the higher each is, the larger the firm’s total labor cost. These lower ancillary labor costs, coupled with the prevailing low wage rates, make Utah one of the lowest labor cost states in the nation. Utah traditionally relies on its pro-business climate and low cost environment to stimulate economic development. Nonetheless, incentives are available to qualifying companies at the state level. The business incentives typically take the form of tax credits that can be used to defray corporate income taxes or other business costs. Utah’s leaders have successfully pursued a larger array of incentive programs to assist expanding companies and those relocating to the state. At the municipal level, Sandy has established several redevelopment and economic development project areas. Tax increment funding from these areas is used to defray infrastructure, construction, property purchase and other company locating costs. The redevelopment areas also generate funding to provide affordable housing for the growing service sector job creation. The melding of state and local progressive taxing and incentives provides a wide variety of options for new, existing and growing businesses.
Overlooking Sandy’s business corridor
Business Incentives Discretionary Grants from the Industrial Assistance Fund (IAF)
Companies expanding or relocating in Utah may apply for incentive grants from the state of Utah’s Industrial Assistance Fund (IAF). IAF is a discretionary fund allocated by the state legislature to help encourage business growth in Utah.
Enterprise Zone Tax Credits
Companies locating or expanding in Utah Enterprise Zones may be eligible for credits on state income tax.
Utah has designated more than 20 communities as Recycling Market Development Zones. Businesses that collect, process, distribute or use recycled materials in their manufacturing process can earn economic incentives by locating in these zones or by applying for the creation of a new zone.
Research Tax Credits
Companies doing qualified research in Utah are eligible for income tax credits of up to 6 percent of qualified research expenses.
Sales Tax Exemption for Manufacturing Equipment
Manufacturers (SIC 2000-3999) are exempt from sales tax on the purchase of new equipment for Utah plant start-up. Replacement manufacturing equipment purchases are also exempt from sales tax.
Tax Increment Financing
Cities and counties may award incentives to companies locating in Economic Development Agency or Redevelopment Agency (EDA/RDA) districts. EDA/RDA districts are determined at the city or county level.
Revolving Loan Funds
Small businesses locating or expanding within Salt Lake County may be eligible for Revolving Loan Funds. Source: Economic Development Corporation of Utah
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TRAX light rail system at one of three stops in Sandy
Site & Infrastructure Sandy has a sound infrastructure with ample utility capacity and competitive rates, a strong telecommunications network with advanced services, and excellent transportation assets. The Salt Lake MSA has a variety of telecommunication providers. The city offers everything from suburban Class A and B office space to high-tech industrial parks. Sandyâ€™s real estate attracts a wide array of companies and has potential for many industries. Commercial office vacancy rates are among the lowest in the state.
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Transportation The regionâ€™s top transportation asset from a business perspective is the availability of inter-modal transportation. Trax currently offers three stops in Sandy. The area is also bolstered by an efficient rail network for both product and commuters, and is served by three major U.S. Interstates and several state highways. The primary roadway through Sandy is Interstate 15, which links the region to I-215, I-80, I-84 and I-70. Over the past 10 years, Sandy has received $222 million in state and federal grants for transportation improvements. Additionally, the Utah Department of Transportation is adding an improved east-west artery with a new freeway
interchange at 11400 South in Sandy off of I-15. The area also boasts an international airport just 20 minutes from Sandy. Salt Lake International Airport has more than 970 scheduled daily departures with non-stop service to 108 different cities. Salt Lake International Airport, operating Deltaâ€™s second largest hub, is the 23rd busiest airport in the nation and the 59th busiest in the world. This investment in air transportation provides competitively lower-priced air transport. The airport plan calls for terminal and service expansions in the near future. Additionally, Sandy is serviced by the Utah Transit Authority bus system that provides more than 100 routes to neighboring cities.
Internet and Telecommunications Sandy has one of the highest percentages of home computer and Internet usage in the state, and Utah is second in the nation in residents with home computers. Sandy works with local communication companies in expanding the area’s network of digital, fiber-optic network services to better serve the businesses and the residential community. Nearly all of the city’s telecommunications lines are buried underground, which enhances the reliability of the system.
Utilities Rocky Mountain Power provides Sandy with its electric utility needs. The region does have a sufficient electricity capacity and rates are competitive nationally for residential, commercial and industrial users. According to the U.S. Department of Energy Administration, more than 90 percent of Utah’s electricity comes from coal burning plants, resulting in relatively low energy prices. Additionally, according to the Economic Development
Corporation of Utah, power rates among Utah’s major cities, such as Sandy, compare favorably with cities across the nation. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2008 data, Utah has the seventh lowest average retail electricity cost in the nation at 6.61 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) compared to the national average of 9.81 cents per kWh. The state ranks 4th lowest for industrial electricity cost at 4.70 cents per kWh, compared to the nation at 7.01 cents per kWh, and seventh lowest for commercial electricity cost at 6.80 cents per kWh, compared to the nation at 10.33 cents per kWh. The region has aggressive water resource programs and benefits from the Wasatch Mountain’s numerous lakes and rivers. Sandy has aggressively developed water resources for decades. This has provided the city with one of the best purveying systems in the area. Sewage facility expansion in the area also provides an environment for progressive water reclamation and re-use capabilities.
Land and Real Estate Sandy has several available real estate and land sites for traditional businesses. The Sandy commercial office market has been a strong performer, and is expected to increase in its availability and desirability in the area. Over the past 10
years, more than 2.7 million square feet of office space has been built or is under construction, with an additional 500,000 square feet in the proposal stages. The Sandy Civic Center area sub-market is driving this growth with the addition of roughly 400,000 square feet of class A office space built in the last 4 years. Sandy has also been a bright spot in the changing economic climate with continued requests to develop projects that add economic opportunity, value and jobs to the local economy. Some of these developments include: Quarry Bend, a mixed-use development including a newly expanded Wal-Mart and Lowe’s, 228 town homes, a 96unit apartment complex and 100,000 square feet of additional retail; The Commons @ South Towne, a major retail complex including Nordstrom Rack, DSW, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and numerous restaurants; and Union Heights, a mixed-use development including a 149,000-square-foot class A office tower, a movie theatre, and other retail buildings. Sandy has additionally grown with customized facilities for high tech and research activities. The city leadership has strongly advocated and encouraged business growth in life sciences, R&D, and other high tech fields by specifically designating zones to accommodate a company’s needs.
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Quality of Life Thousands choose to move to Sandy and the Salt Lake Valley because of Utah’s enviable quality of life. Generally, quality of life encompasses a variety of factors from recreational and entertainment amenities to the natural environment, public safety, health care and affordable cost of living. People are drawn to the region because Sandy excels in all of these categories, and for its beautiful mountains and valleys.
Take a Hike Many residents feel that the region’s biggest quality-of-life asset is the natural environment and the focus on safe, livable communities. The region’s four seasons and scenic environment offer a year round opportunity for a wide variety of recreational opportunities. For example, there are eight ski resorts within a 45minute drive of the Salt Lake Valley and four within 30 minutes of Sandy. Sandy also has more than 1,100 acres of open space and parks, three golf courses including a country club and more than 60 miles of completed interconnecting trails. When fully completed, the trail system will have more than 170 miles of interconnecting trails throughout the city. The city’s arts and culture boasts a gathering parkway area for cultural events as well as an amphitheater which hosts local, state and national performers.
A Venue for Every Interest Although the city is still considered more affordable than many areas in the U.S. on
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average, cost of living is slightly higher than other areas in the Salt Lake Valley. Despite these factors, many residents still believe the city to be unmatched in its quality of life. Its rich culture and historical tradition give Sandy a charm that is unique and desirable. In the past 15 years, Sandy has greatly increased recreation, cultural, shopping and entertainment opportunities, with things to do for nearly every type of resident. Sandy is home to the South Towne Exposition Center, a 450,000-squarefoot facility that hosts more than 600,000 visitors a year to consumer shows, conferences and educational opportunities. Additionally, Real Salt Lake (RSL), Utah’s Major League Soccer (MLS) team, finished a new stadium in Sandy. Designed as a world-class soccer venue, the stadium seats 20,000 people and can accommodate up to 25,000 for special events. The stadium hosts exhibition matches, youth and college sporting events, community festivals, concerts, and a range of other entertainmentoriented events. Sandy is also home to The Living Planet Aquarium, which gives visitors a chance to see a wide assortment of aquatic species and wildlife, including tropical ocean-dwellers and fish native to Utah waters. Additionally, Sandy is home to one of the largest shopping malls in the state, the South Towne Mall. With four major anchors and more than 150 stores, the South Towne Mall offers consumers a convenient place to shop. Sports and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the area’s many golf courses, opportunities to fish and hunt or visit one
of the state’s 49 national and state parks. Maintaining this quality of life is critically important to the local officials and residents of Sandy; they are committed to working hard to maintain economic growth while preserving the aspects that provide Sandy residents with an enviable quality of life.
Health Care Sandy has many convenient medical services and facilities staffed by dedicated and experienced health care professionals. Alta View Hospital is the community’s major medical facility and includes a 34suite Women’s Center. Additionally, the Alta View Surgical Center provides both inpatient and outpatient surgical services and is undergoing a 118,000-square-foot expansion that includes a new surgery center, clinic and office space.
Public Safety Everyone desires safe places to live and raise their families, and Sandy has been recognized for 12 straight years as one of
Carnival in front of the new Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, home to 2009 MLS Champion, Real Salt Lake the safest places in the U.S. by national publications. Additionally, Sandy has one of the lowest rates of crime in the U.S thanks to the commitment of its 118 sworn police officers.
Competitive Cost of Living 125.7 117.1
Cost of Living The Salt Lake Valley traditionally has lower costs of living when compared to the U.S. average. However, due to Sandy City’s higher rate of affluence, proximity to major markets and the increase in housing costs, cost of living is slowly trending upward. In fact, over the past few years, Sandy has moved closer to the national average in the quarterly cost of living index.
Cost of Housing Sandy has many housing options, although costs are typically higher in Sandy than other cities in the Salt Lake Valley due to Sandy’s ideal location at the base of the Wasatch Mountains and its proximity to major markets. In recent years, the price of single-family homes
Source: ACCRA, 1st Quarter 2009 Cost of Living Index
has grown; Sandy’s median home value is approximately $265,000. Although the economic climate has had a large impact on the housing industry, the housing
market within Sandy has remained strong. Additionally, Sandy’s residential areas are renowned for their well-kept yards and spectacular views of the Wasatch Front.
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10000 Centennial Parkway Sandy, UT 84070 (801) 568-7100 sandy.utah.gov