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Salt Lake County Regional Development News

Welcome Brooke Shankland as Salt Lake County's New Economic Development Manager

August 24, 2021

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Brooke Shankland joined Salt Lake County Economic Development in mid-August as our new Economic Development Manager. 

Brooke manages Salt Lake County's Economic Opportunity portfolio, working with community-based organizations, entrepreneurs, service providers, and other regional stakeholders to make investments that improve economic opportunity in the County.

Her unique background in entrepreneurship, business consulting, and inclusion will help her connect businesses with the resources they need to thrive and workers with the jobs and skills they need to succeed.

Before joining the County, Brooke worked as a technology consultant and corporate social responsibility manager at Huron Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers, respectively. Brooke has a BA in Economics & Philosophy as well as an MBA, with concentrations in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, from Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!). 

Brooke is excited to continue her work in the social impact sector by working with divisions at the County and other stakeholders to address barriers to more equitable economic opportunity across the valley.

She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, Pat, and spunky, 60-pound dog, Ace. They thrive on all the outdoor activities the area has to offer, including fishing, hiking, camping, and skiing.

Brooke also has a small creative business called Eudaimonia Studio that marries her love of design, philosophy, and sewing by designing modern quilt patterns inspired by ancient wisdom for human flourishing. 

Reach out to Brooke and introduce yourself! Email her at or call her at 385-468-4868.

Welcome, Brooke!

Join Our Regional Solutions' Missing Middle Housing Event as a Sponsor

August 04, 2021

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The ever-increasing cost of housing is becoming one of the biggest challenges facing current and future generations. There is not just one solution, but many methods to create both attainable and affordable housing for Utah families and individuals. Missing Middle Housing represents a different way to think big about the housing problem. 
Join us for a keynote lunch with author and architect Dan Parolek to learn more about new and creative ways to think about today’s housing. The keynote presentation will be followed by a local panel discussion focused on how to create more attainable and affordable housing in Utah. Lunch will be provided.
If you are a housing professional, city or government leader, developer, designer, planner, or simply interested in finding more solutions for attainable and affordable housing you won’t want to miss this event. Please consider joining as a sponsor.

Sponsorship Levels

Co-Sponsor | $5,000

  • Short speaking opportunity (5 min. or less)
  • Verbal recognition at the event
  • Logo included on website and printed materials
  • Priority registration for up to 8 individuals from your organization to attend the event
  • 4 tickets for a private Missing Middle Housing Walking Tour

Presenting sponsor | $2,000

  • Verbal recognition at the event
  • Logo recognition
  • Priority registration for up to 4 individuals from your organization to attend the event
  • 2 tickets for a private Missing Middle Housing Walking Tour

Association Sponsor | $250

  • Logo recognition
  • Priority registration for up to 1 individual from your organization to attend the event
  • 1 ticket for a private Missing Middle Housing Walking Tour

Sign up for a sponsorship here.

About the Speaker

Daniel Parolek is an urban designer, architect, author, and the founding principal of Opticos Design. Daniel and his work have been featured in many publications, including The New York Times, Next City, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, and Curbed. Daniel has championed the Missing Middle Housing movement, launched, and wrote the book “Missing Middle Housing: Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis.”
His innovative work includes the master plan, building type design, and architecture for Culdesac Tempe, which is fully entitled and will be the largest car-free community in the country when built in 2021. Other work includes the country’s first Missing Middle Neighborhood in the Omaha, NE metro, which is redefining Class A multifamily; a citywide form-based code for Cincinnati, Ohio; and a sustainable growth strategy for Libreville, the capital city of Gabon, Africa.
Daniel has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Urban Design from the University of California at Berkeley. 
This event is part of Salt Lake County’s Regional Solutions Series. Registration will open to the public shortly.

4 Ways We're Pioneering in Salt Lake County Regional Development

July 22, 2021

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According to Days of '47, thousands of pioneers pulled handcarts or drove wagons with oxen or horses across the plains to a vast desert landscape, occupied by various Native American groups, that became known as the Utah Territory after they entered the valley on July 24, 1847.

"Coming together from many nations, they sought to create a new life. This trek of the early Utah pioneers exemplifies the courage, foresight and faith that continue to inspire modern-day pioneers."

To honor the spirit of foresight and innovation, we seek to work with all communities in Salt Lake County to facilitate modern-day pioneering in areas that will improve the quality of life for all residents.

4 Ways We're Pioneering Today in Salt Lake County

1. Plain Air

Air quality is among one of the top issues for all residents, and rightly so. We want air as clean as it was in 1847. To help improve it, multiple projects have launched or are in development to assess air pollution hot spots in Salt Lake County. For example, a new partnership with University of Utah, UTA, and DEQ will track air quality on electric bus routes to show residents and policymakers where air quality is poorest. This will allow us to strategically target resources; when built out, Salt Lake County can have the most detailed air quality monitoring map in the world. 

2. Following the Trail ... of Economic Data

Early in the pandemic, Salt Lake County sought to have a better understanding of current economic conditions. Many indicators lag for months, which made it difficult to assess the current situation, which sectors were most impacted, and how they were bouncing back after initial closures.

Utilizing the skills of the Office of Data and Innovation, Salt Lake County created a public Economic Info Portal that takes data from places like the Utah State Tax Commission, and others, and presents them in a digestible way as soon as they are released. It's been able to visualize, for example, how accommodations is one of the few remaining sectors to recover to 2019 taxable sales numbers, as of May 2021.

3. Home, Home within a Range

Housing is one area that Utah must pioneer and innovate. With limited developable space along the Wasatch Front, Utah's housing market is in a crisis between limited supply, rising construction costs, and lack of attainable housing. As part of Salt Lake County's Regional Solutions series, 2021 will focus on Missing Middle Housing. Expert and architect Daniel Parolek will share and facilitate discussion on new and creative ways to generate more affordable and attainable housing in Utah. Interested in attending this fall? Stay tuned! 

4. Pioneering Tax Increment Financing

Hold on to your Pioneer Day sparklers, you read correctly. Salt Lake County has spent much time in 2021 modernizing our approach to Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to better serve taxpayers and future developments.

TIF is a tool used for economic development by municipalities to stimulate private development for the betterment of the community in certain project areas that, but for the use of tax increment dollars, redevelopment would otherwise prove unlikely or difficult. As part of the ongoing process of improving Salt Lake County's TIF policy and becoming a better partner, a new webpage launched at, where the TIF Area Project Database, future templates, and more detailed project application criteria can be found.

Pandemic Economic Trends: What's Happening in Industrial Real Estate in Salt Lake County?

July 22, 2021

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As Utah experiences economic recovery from the initial impacts of the pandemic, and real estate continues to skyrocket, EDCUtah poised how the private and public sector can strike a balance when it comes to current and future development, given the extra stresses added with rising costs in construction and in real estate.

Alan Rindlisbacher, Director of Community Strategy at EDCUtah, shared advice on striking a balance in real estate development. What perhaps received the most emphasis was the need for the public sector to recognize and remember that time is money — or as Angela Eldredge, COO at Price Real Estate, said, “Time kills all deals.”

Among Alan's other advice to Salt Lake County entities? 

Understand a development's goals. It's important to make sure public and private parties are on the same page for the goals of the project.

Trends in Industrial Real Estate in Salt Lake County

Angela shared insight into the state of the industrial real estate in Salt Lake County following the pandemic and how it economically impacted this specific sector of the local real estate market.

She reported that as land prices have seen 187% increase over last year, paired with an increase in construction costs, that acquiring land is tough right now. Challenges and trends include: 

  1. Land is beginning to be constrained here. Across Salt Lake Valley, land that's developable is mostly under control or in the cycle that an investor bought it with the intent to develop. 
  2. Land banking for a future development cycle is less likely to happen than in previous years. With an increase in costs, investors are more constrained to develop immediately. 
  3. The pandemic was good for industrial real estate. According to Angela, vacancies prior were closer to 20% and now stand at nearly 1% at their company. Tenants realized they need more space, as customers don't want to wait for weeks for products to be delivered. Amazon set a benchmark for delivery and other businesses are working to follow suit to avoid losing sales — that means more warehousing and distribution centers.
  4. Trailer storage has increased.
  5. Expect more manufacturing to come to the Salt Lake County market. There are opportunities in rural communities and outliers. The challenge for developers and tenants is to have a vision with the city and "be nimble."

Industrial real estate "became the darling" real estate sector during COVID-19 when retail was hit heavily. Some investors and developers chose to get into the industrial sector that haven't been there before.