Affordability As Part of the Mix

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Daybreak is a mixed-use, walkable community in South Jordan, Utah, a city of about 66,000 located 18 miles south of Salt Lake City. The largest master-planned community in the state, it is entitled for over 20,000 homes. The massive scale of the development and diversity of housing types at Daybreak creates opportunities for market-rate affordability without additional subsidies.

A planned development on 4,200 acres on the west side of South Jordan—about 36 percent of the city’s land area—Daybreak is the first project to reclaim surplus mining land in the region. Kennecott Land Company, the developer, was established in April 2001 by international mining company by Rio Tinto to convert surplus mining land into mixed-use development. An intensive and thorough period of remediation, restoration and reclamation for the property lasted through the mid-2000s; construction at Daybreak began in 2003.

In 2016, the Developer sold its Daybreak assets to Värde Partners, a Minnesota-based global investment firm, with a significant presence in Utah. A new company has been formed called “Daybreak Communities,” to manage Daybreak’s development.

Daybreak has incorporated smart growth principles to minimize sprawl, water use, and congestion. The community’s collaboration with Envision Utah, a statewide nonprofit civic engagement organization, provides a guiding vision for the planning and development of the property.

The development of Daybreak is governed by a Master Development Agreement between the City of South Jordan and the developer that designated Daybreak as a planned community zone, which provides substantial flexibility for development options. Daybreak may develop at any density that the market can support, up to the maximum number of entitled units. The developer commissioned a 180-page Daybreak Pattern Book to establish Daybreak’s application of sustainable design and transit-oriented development.

The development is divided into 12 “villages,” each planned for approximately 1,000 to 1,500 residential units. A growing town center houses regional employment and retail uses, parks, schools, churches, and employment. Ample parks and recreational spaces are integrated throughout the community, and every home is located within a quarter-mile of a park or the extensive trail system. Most villages contain a wide variety of homes, ranging from condos to large single-family homes. The focus is on for-sale homes; to date, over 90 percent of the housing units are owner-occupied. Crossing at Daybreak, with 315 luxury apartments, is currently the only multifamily rental property in the development, although others are planned.

Daybreak’s variety of single-family and multifamily residential product types and price points create many opportunities for affordability. Even with million-dollar mansions nearby, price points for new sales start in the high $100’s for townhomes and low 200’s for single-family homes in a region where the median home sales price is $269,900.

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