UVU President Matthew Holland announced an option to buy another 125 acres in addition to the purchased 100 acres at the old Geneva Steel site.
“When President Wilson Sorenson purchased the land that UVU currently sits on, many wondered what a technical school could possibly need with all those acres of land,” Holland said. “We need to catch Wilson Sorenson’s vision, we need to consider the future of UVU. We must plan for the UVU 50 years from now as Wilson Sorenson planned for us. We must honor his legacy.”
UVU teamed up with Anderson Development to evolve the land that once belonged to the Utah Valley economic hub that was Geneva Steel.
After years of planning, Anderson Development named the new expansion @Geneva.
“Our advisors told us to drop the name Geneva,” Gerald Anderson, principal of Anderson Development, said. “They said it was old news. But there is a legacy, a community history built on Geneva, and we couldn’t walk away from it.”
The total Geneva site is over 1,700 acres along a 1.5-mile frontage on the eastern shore of Utah Lake. It is located in the Provo-Orem area, which is in the top ten of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States and second largest in Utah behind South Jordan in Salt Lake County.
“Geneva is positioned to become the new urban center of Utah Valley,” Anderson said. “With the unveiling of this spectacular master-planned community, Anderson Development invites all Utah County residents to live, work, build and shop at Geneva.
UVU previously planned to expand its campus on the Geneva site years ago, but opted not to proceed.
“It was a large project, and we didn’t have the right partners with the right vision,” Holland said. “Now, with Gerald Anderson and the planning team at Anderson Development we have the partners we need to accomplish the vision we have for the future of UVU.”
@Geneva will combine with the Town of Vineyard to become one of the largest community developments in Utah. It will include housing, many geared to UVU students, for 26,000 future residents. The community is also planned to have a major town center, lakefront property, a Larry H. Miller Megaplex with an IMAX theater, and 10 intramural fields to house UVU’s intramural teams.
“With UVU’s expected growth and the community we are looking to create, we anticipate housing the largest intramural program in the nation,” Anderson said.
The @Geneva community is expected to take approximately 10 years to unfold. Beyond being a place to live and recreate, @Geneva will be a major nucleus of business and industry. With expectations of office development, entertainment areas, industrial complexes and retail shops, @Geneva will be a city within a city.
“It’s been a learning experience, developing a city within a city,” Randy Farnworth, mayor of the Town of Vineyard, said. “I don’t know that any other mayor could boast it.”
The transformation from abandoned steel mill to contemporary community was said to speak to the unique American experience.
“I think as Americans we take such a development as this for granted,” Greg Miller, CEO of Larry H. Miller Group, said. “We are so used to new development that we don’t understand what a feat it is to create a city. What we’re doing here today is celebrating a historical moment. Let’s take a moment to appreciate that.”
Nicole Shepard is an Integrated Studies major at UVU. She is emphasizing in Writing Studies, Journalism and Peace and Justice Studies, and will graduate spring 2014. Nicole is hoping to work in cause journalism and advocate for restorative justice practices. She has lived in Europe three times she is also considering graduate school in the UK. Nicole is the news editor for the UVU Review.