Wish I had the ear of Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the Salt Lake City council. I'd try to persuade them to use land near the new prison for more than light industrial and traditional commercial. This I say in light of the fact Salt Lake has announced that with the prison coming, it makes sense to bring other development to the area. The point city leaders make is, why bring all the infrastructure there just to service no more than the prison?
Yes, I'd like to see the land developed, but only if done in a big way. That land is just a few miles west of the airport. To me, having so much undeveloped land near an airport is an opportunity to try something that perhaps hasn't been done much, if at all, in America's cities: create a tourist zone. Create a zone that serves air traffic and feeds off it. Create a district attracting international visitors. Now, if you are to create such a district, putting it next to your airport is the logical place, but that opportunity will be lost as soon as you waste it on light industrial and traditional commercial.
Placing businesses and attractions there serving the flight industry makes sense. I suggest this is the natural and best use of the land. It is a way to capitalize on the resource of the airport and turn the land into its highest value. Instead of being just another place for light industrial and commercial, this land can serve a critical clientele, our air travelers. Sit down and do a little brainstorming. Ask what type of things would be worthy of international (or at least, national) appeal. There are a host of things we could do, a number of sectors of tourism we could appeal to.
If we want, we could increase the flow of international visitors to our city. Why not use that land for its highest value, instead of selling it short as simply light industrial and common commercial property?