Provo housing developer requests Provo-Orem boundary change

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A “Welcome to Provo” sign marks the boundary between Orem and Provo. Housing developer Jason White requested the Provo-Orem boundary be moved so the entire property is within Provo, rather than split between Provo and Orem. (Zoe Cook)

At the mouth of Provo Canyon, the boundary between Provo and Orem is marked with a “Welcome to Provo” sign. On the other side, there is a stretch of empty land, populated by weeds and trash blown off University Ave.

This property, owned by 50 East Capital Management, is planned to house 219 for-rent condos, a restaurant village and offices. Most of this property is within Provo, but part falls within Orem.

Jason White, president and CIO of 50 East Capital Management and owner of the property, has requested that the boundary between Provo and Orem be moved farther north, claiming a small piece of Orem. This change would allow future residents of the 24 Orem condo units to share consistent addresses and school districts with the 195 Provo unit residents.

This map shows the current division of the property if the city boundary is not moved. White said he plans to develop the property with condos. (Courtesy of Jason White)

These townhomes are “a product that doesn’t exist right now in Provo…. when they (families) get to outgrow the apartment they often have to leave Provo or they have to buy a home which is not easy right now,” White said during the Provo City Council meeting where he proposed the boundary change.

This change may affect the value — especially the rental rates — of the 24 units that would be moving cities, Provo-Orem area realtor Sarah Stewart said.

According to Stewart, there might be a small price difference in housing located in Orem versus Provo, though it is not as significant as the price difference between school districts. This is part of why city boundaries get so messy, she said.

“They (city boundaries) have evolved historically for different reasons and situations, so that even today they’re still in flux,” BYU urban planning professor David Simpson said. “It doesn’t appear to have any rhyme or reason if you just look at it.”

This boundary move also brings a piece of the Provo-Orem boundary into alignment with the Provo River, offering residents riverside views from their own backyards. This, however, may cut off access to the currently public Provo River trail, a topic brought up in the Provo City Council Meeting.

The proposed property development has potential to impact public access to the Provo River Trail. The orange line marks the proposed location of the Provo River Trail. (Courtesy of Jason White)

This plan temporarily diverts the trail away from the river and instead goes through the development.

Provo City Council has expressed interest in protecting the trail during the Provo City Council meeting in August where Jason White proposed the development plans. Because of this interest, if the entire property fell within Provo, it might allow more protection for the trail to remain public.

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