Earlier this month, the heads of Pluralsight, a technology learning company, announced their selection of 30-acres of undeveloped land at the Point of the Mountain in Draper, Utah as the location of their new worldwide headquarters.
The company’s choice for its new headquarters is part of a larger trend along the Wasatch Front for suburban office developments over high-rises in the city core. When construction starts on the new Plurasight headquarters, there will be over 480,000 square-feet of commercial office space under construction in Draper.
The company expects to break ground this summer on the 350,000-square-foot office building at 65 Highland Drive. The proposed headquarters will be directly south of Interstate 15 and the current site of the Utah State Prison.
“Our new worldwide headquarters will provide us with the space we need to bring our entire Utah workforce together in one collaborative environment,” said Aaron Skonnard, co-founder and CEO of Pluralsight in a statement. “We are excited to create a campus from the ground up that Utahns are proud of and our customers and partners around the world love to visit.”
Plurasight officials announced last year their intention to expand operations in Utah after receiving a $21 million incentive from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. At that time, officials identified Lehi and Draper as potential sites for a new headquarters.
Pluralsight will lease the land from The Gardner Company/Staker Company, which owns the property and will develop Pluralsight’s new campus. The company will consolidate existing operations in South Jordan and Farmington to the new Draper campus. Officials expect that the expansion will add 2,400 jobs to the region.
In 2017, Draper and its suburban neighbor, Sandy, led the county in adding new commercial space as many tech companies expanding in the region opt for sprawl with single-use mid-rise office buildings surrounded by surface parking.
Last week, Plurasight officials released a promotional on Facebook that reveals plans for a mid-rise office building wrapping around a large landscaped plaza and parking structure. The current design calls for five connected buildings ranging from five to eight stories in height.
In their announcement, the team at Plurasight attribute the access to the interstate and a proposed TRAX extension as reasons behind their site selection. But plans for extending the Blue TRAX Line are still a few years out meaning that there will be no rail transit access for Pluaraight’s workers when the Draper campus is completed.
Every year the Governor’s Office of Economic Development offers millions in financial incentives to companies that relocate or expand their operations in the state of Utah. Yet despite vehicle traffic being the leading contributor to the region’s poor air quality, that state does not offer financial incentives to companies that build in urban centers are already well connected to public transit.
Despite the tech community’s continued preference for suburban sprawl, some companies are breaking from the trend opting instead for urban amenities over single-use mid-rise towers.
In January, the biotechnology company Recursion Pharmaceuticals broke ground on 100,000 square feet of new office space in the building formerly occupied by Dick’s Sporting Goods at The Gateway.
In addition to Recursion, officials from TaskEasy, an automated property maintenance organization, announced that they will lease 33,000 square feet in the 669 S. West Temple office building. The building was the previous headquarters of the School Improvement Network before that company relocated out-of-state after Pennsylvania-based Frontline Education acquired the company.