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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Parking garage between the canyons

Sep 14, 2018 01:43PM ● By Jana Klopsch

The Canyon Centre will house two new restaurants, office space, a hotel and an underground parking garage when completed. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]

Taking a tour of the Canyon Centre development construction site on Sept. 4 was informative for the Cottonwood Heights City Council and staff members, and eye-opening for the handful of residents who suited up in hard hats and fluorescent vests.

The Canyon Centre development, located at about 7200 South Wasatch Boulevard (on the old Canyon Racquet Club property) has been in the planning stages for years. It is finally beginning to take on a physical form, with massive concrete walls for the anticipated three-story parking structure.     

Currently, Big-D Construction is working through phase 1, out of 3, for the development. This phase includes the parking garage for private and public parking, with a hotel, office space and a restaurant/distillery placed on top. Plans for phase 1 were originally approved in March 2014.

The current project is anticipated to take 384 days to complete, which puts the anticipated end date around May of next year. After years of planning, a tight schedule for completion, and not permitting change orders, Big-D Construction Superintendent Kevin Pilney is dedicated to keep a tight schedule.

Pilney meets every Tuesday with his crew to ensure work is being completed in a timely manner and to address any concerns or questions. A city representative, usually Assistant City Manager Bryce Haderlie, attends these weekly meetings as well, keeping Cottonwood Heights City educated on the construction process.

Additionally, Pilney and other managers try to meet regularly with all of the relative owners. This includes the office space building owners, hotel owners, distillery owners, restaurant owners and additional members who are contributing funding.

“It’s like herding wet cats,” Pilney laughed.

Currently, two giant concrete walls, which will serve as half of the perimeter of the parking garage, are visuals for the construction site. There are what seem to resemble huge nails tacked into these walls in neat lines, creating a grid pattern. These are the ends of 44-foot rebar rods that have been stricken underground perpendicular to Wasatch Boulevard and Canyon Centre Parkway.

Councilwoman Christine Mikell asked if any of the underground utility lines that weave through the entire city were hit. When Salt Lake County issued a permit to Big-D Construction, they provided information on all the recorded utility lines. The crew was able to carefully map around where everything was supposedly located in attempts to not hit anything damaging. They were almost totally successful, but did hit one fiber line.   

Prior to mapping utility lines, pouring concrete and constructing a post-tension strutting system for the parking structure, Big-D needed to dig a hole in the ground, equivalent to a three-story building. This was a nerve-racking venture for the crew because they could potentially find something underground that would add days to their timeline. The biggest worry was that they would find water. Luckily, they didn’t find anything that would slow them down when they dug into the ground.

Surprisingly, they didn’t even find solid granite. The rock found within the construction zone resembles granite, but crumbles easily between fingertips. However, they did find a boulder, which was about three times the size of the six-foot-tall construction worker who stood atop it for visual comparison.

Throughout the Tuesday night tour, Pilney addressed many concerns from the council members and residents. Some of which included the height of buildings (as to not cut off the view from residents living east of the development), Wasatch Fault Line setbacks, traffic issues and questions around the timelines.

By the time of publication, the first section of phase 1 should be completed, or nearly complete.

When all sections of phase 1 of the Canyon Centre are completed, a three-story parking structure, 65,000 square feet of office space, a 125-unit hotel and Dugala distillery will be physical entities, instead of planned drawings on paper.

For more information on the Canyon Centre project, visit