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West Valley City Journal

Several military recruitment offices move to same Taylorsville shopping complex

Mar 12, 2018 05:12PM ● By Carl Fauver

For months, this portion of wall was all that remained from a Toys R Us store that was torn down in West Valley City, because military recruiters were still occupying their attached building. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

The Toys R Us national store chain is bankrupt.

Taylorsville has four new military recruitment offices for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.  

And believe it or not, the two are connected.

All four major branches of the U.S. Military have just opened side-by-side recruiting headquarters in the Taylorsville shopping complex on the southwest corner of Redwood Road and 4700 South. But the recruiters would have likely never landed there, if Toys R Us had continued to do the kind of business it did before online shopping became the juggernaut it is now.

“West Valley City purchased the land adjacent to their city offices, and tore down the Toys R Us building,” said Kathy Bicker, a civilian real estate specialist who works for the Army Corps of Engineers.  Her Sacramento, Calif. office is one of the places that assists the military in securing recruitment office sites.

“West Valley’s purchase affected us, because we had a military recruitment office attached to the outside of the Toys R Us store (2787 West 3500 South),” Bicker added. “So we had to find a new recruitment office pretty quick.”

Bicker said the recruiters had begun to outgrow the 4,000-square-foot West Valley location, so finding a new home was more of an opportunity than a hardship. Also, the Toys R Us location was only large enough to hold Army, Navy and Marine recruiters, while the U.S. Air Force had a completely different location in Taylorsville (3171 West 5400 South).

“Our new location is 8,100 square feet, double what we had in West Valley,” Bicker said.  “So that has allowed us to vacate the Toys R Us site, so they can complete their demolition, and also move the Air Force recruiting office next to the others.”

The four military branch recruitment center opened in February, in the Taylorsville Town Center shopping complex on the southwest corner of 4700 South Redwood Road.

“The West Valley City (Toys R Us land) purchase was fortuitous for us,” Bicker added. “Although that recruitment office space had become cramped, we had not really started looking for a new location. But the city forced us into action and the new location should be much better.”

Air Force Master Sergeant Timothy Aldinger could hardly contain his enthusiasm.

“I’m ecstatic about the move; we’re all packed and couldn’t be happier,” said Aldinger.

Aldinger is in charge of all Air Force recruiting in Utah, from Bountiful to Richfield.

“We really didn’t have enough room in the old location and the move allows us to combine a few offices,” Aldinger added. “It will also be nice to be in the same location as the other recruiting offices.”

The Air Force has combined Taylorsville, West Valley and Salt Lake offices into the new location. With his retirement papers already approved – effective next January – Master Sergeant Aldinger said it will be great to have a more comfortable location for his final year.

“Last year we set an Air Force recruiting record in our Utah zone, signing up 174 new men and women,” he said. “Our previous one-year recruitment record was 152, nearly 10 years ago. Now with a nicer location – and the possibility of bringing new recruiters on board – who knows how many new recruits we may get this year?”

The previous Utah zone Air Force recruiting record occurred just as the country was coming out of the ‘Great Recession’ while Aldinger and his recruiters beat that mark at a time when our state has returned to an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent.

With all four military branches combined in the new Taylorsville location, about 27 people work there. The U.S. Army traditionally has the most recruits and therefore has the most space. The Air Force recruitment space is next in size, followed by equal size areas for the Navy and Marines.