More growth still in the forecast for West Valley CityMar 09, 2023 11:57AM ● By Darrell Kirby
City manager Wayne Pyle speaks on KSL Radio about the growth of West Valley City. (Courtesy West Valley City)
Despite rapid growth the past 25 years and dwindling available land, West Valley City isn’t done expanding.
City Manager Wayne Pyle said on KSL Radio during a live interview at Granger High School in February that West Valley City still has projects in the works to add to its growth and ongoing makeover that has seen the city grow economically and forge its own identity from what was once a somewhat nondescript suburb.
Pyle told KSL hosts Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic that work is underway to further cement the city as a desirable place to live and do business.
When asked about West Valley City’s historically less-than-stellar image among some people, Pyle said that is changing. “I think over the last 25-plus years, they’ve really made a lot of strides toward pride, accomplishment and culture,” said Pyle, who has served as city manager since 2002. “I think the image has improved from the outside,” he added, but more importantly among those who live and work in the city. “The people are very proud of the city and happy to be here.”
He said improvements in the central part of West Valley City, including Valley Fair Mall, are the most noticeable changes to people who last visited the area years ago, but nearly all parts of the city have seen commercial, industrial and residential upgrades of one kind or another.
Pyle told KSL that the city’s annual population growth of 3% to 4% in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to the addition of about 700 new single-family homes a year. The population in 2002 was 110,400. Today it is about 143,000, an increase of nearly 30% during that time. The growth has slowed to about 1% annually as the amount of available land shrinks. “There is still ground to develop (but) there’s not a ton of it,” he said. Much of the current housing construction has shifted to multi-family dwellings like apartments and many of those are concentrated in the center of the city near public transit hubs such as UTA’s West Valley Central and Decker Lake TRAX and bus stations.
Pyle said that the Valley Fair Mall property which underwent a major renovation more than a decade ago will see some further improvements in the future on its north side.