West Jordan

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West Jordan is a rapidly growing suburb of Salt Lake City, with a mostly modern housing stock, quality commercial districts and a strong industrial base. The Jordan Landing mixed-use development, located in the major growth area of Salt Lake County, is the focal point of retail development and is one of the largest shopping centers in Utah of ‘big box’ stores. West Jordan has an estimated population of 113,699 as of 2016, placing it as the fourth most populated in the state.Named after the nearby Jordan River, the limits of the city begin on the river's western bank and end in the eastern foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains, where Bingham Canyon Mine, the world's largest man-made excavation, is located.

Settled in the mid-19th century, the city has developed into its own regional center in the 21st century. Currently the city has four major retail centers with Jordan Landing, one of the largest mixed-use planned developments in the Intermountain West. Companies headquartered in West Jordan include Wasatch Software,Cyprus Credit Union, Mountain America Credit Union, Fairchild Semiconductor, and Dunford Bakeries. The city has one major hospital, Jordan Valley, and a campus of Salt Lake Community College, which is designed to become the main campus upon completion in 2020.

City landmarks include Gardner Village, established in 1850 and the historic Sugar Factory, built in 1916. It is also the location of South Valley Regional Airport, formally known as "Salt Lake Airport #2". The airport serves general aviation operations as well as a base for the Utah Army National Guard for Apache and Black Hawk helicopters.

West Jordan received its name from Mormon settlers who entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 under the leadership of their prophet, Brigham Young. These first European-Americans thought of the area to be their Zion, or Holy Land, and thus named the river flowing west of their first settlement, Salt Lake City, the Western Jordan, a nod to the River Jordan in Palestine. The name was later simplified to "Jordan River". Like its Middle Eastern namesake, the Jordan River flows from a fresh water lake (Utah Lake) to an inland salt sea (Great Salt Lake). West Jordan was founded around 1849 on the western banks of the Jordan River.

One of the first sawmills in the area was built in 1850 in the city by Archibald Gardner. Archibald Gardner was a devout Mormon whose legacy can still be seen in modern West Jordan. His collection of now historic mills and houses have been renovated into a specialty shopping district known as Gardner Village.

Old downtown West Jordan is being redeveloped for an expanded Main Park, a history museum, conversion of the Sugar Factory into a playhouse, an indoor recreation center, a senior center, and a large courthouse to serve the UtahState Third District. The second phase calls for the demolition of a dilapidated commercial area, to be replaced by six-story buildings housing a performing arts center, a large library, a hotel, an education center, a conference center, retail and office space, a trail linking to Gardner Village and the Jordan River trail, and a cultural pavilion to house the planned light rail station.

TRAX Red Line runs through West Jordan. You can visit the Bingham Copper Mine at 9,000 above sea level-the largest open pit mine in the world. The views often mine layers as wells the mountains and Salt Lake Valley are breath taking. Unfortunately the visitor’s center had to close a few years ago due to soil shifting and landslides in the area. The road up there is narrow and windy, so be careful. West Jordan has a farmers market at Historic Gardner Village every summer. www.garnervillage.com

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