‘There are a lot of things happening’; Washington City mayor highlights current and incoming developments

ST. GEORGE — Like the rest of the county, Washington City is growing. New development and economic ventures are either being proposed and planned or are on their way to being built, filling city officials with excitement for the growth and opportunities presenting themselves over the next year and beyond.

Mayor Ken Neilson, Washington City, Utah, Jan. 10, 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“There are a lot of things happening in Washington City that a lot of people don’t know about,” Mayor Ken Neilson said while sitting in his office at the Washington City Hall. “We’re excited about what’s going on in Washington City.”

Neilson gave an overview of recent developments within the city, as well as current and future projects.

In the realm of housing, Neilson said residential subdivisions are sprouting up across the city. Like other cities, the increasing population is posing a challenge to the city as it works to stay on top of growing infrastructural needs.

For the city, it works to have the infrastructure available to serve those incoming developments.

The increasing growth in Washington County and across the state has also led to a shortage in what is considered affordable, or attainable, housing. Neilson noted that several new apartment complexes are being built, including a dedicated affordable housing complex that utilizes Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

Red Rock Apartments at Sienna Hills, an affordable housing development in Washington City, Utah, Feb. 18. 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The complex, called Red Rock at Sienna Hills, sits on the east side of the intersection of Washington Parkway and Telegraph Street. Currently being built, the complex will sport 258 units. Other apartment complexes are also being built in the same area, as well as off Washington Parkway east of Interstate 15 near Exit 13.

Overall, Neilson estimated that eight or more new apartment and multifamily projects are being constructed in Washington City, adding over 1,450 units.

Two assisted living facilities are also coming to Washington City. One is the Ovation assisted living campus, located in the Sienna Hills development off Exit 13, and the other, Primrose, is being developed in the Washington Fields area.

Other development on the east side of Exit 13 includes a recently opened RV park that the mayor said was booked a year in advance, as well as an incoming Best Western Hotel. Other hotels companies are also considering building that general location, Neilson said.

At the Green Springs Golf Course, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 18. 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Other projects for the land around Exit 13 involve a possible medical campus and auto mall complex.

“We have a potential major medical center up on (the west side of) Exit 13,” Neilson said.

Thus far, two different medical entities have shown more interest in the Exit 13 location than in previous years, the mayor said. This has not included Intermountain Healthcare.

Neilson said he envisions the potential for a large medical campus that would include a possible hospital as the anchor with additional clinics and services, as well as possible commercial space.

The city’s golf course is also going through some changes.

“Our golf course is one of the premier golf courses in the state,” Neilson said. “We are currently adding additional driving range capacity for those that like to hit golf balls.”

The playground at the Veterans Park, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 18. 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

That project is currently underway and will necessitate some changes to the layout of the golf course.

Access to the golf course was also a reason for the new location of a Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel on Green Springs Drive, Neilson said. The new hotel opened in December. There are potential future plans to build an additional Marriott-brand hotel just south of the SpringHill in a few years, the mayor said.

Recreation-wise, the city opened two new parks last year. The first was Shooting Star Park in October and then the Canyons Park in November. Renovation has also been done on the Veterans Park on Telegraph Street, including the addition of new playground equipment.

Work has also begun on the Warm Springs Heritage Park, which is to be built around the Warm Springs pond, also known as the Boilers.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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