Housing has boomed in Garden City the past little while with people coming to the area and investing in, buying, or building homes that go into the short-term rental market, which according to Garden City Mayor Mike Leonhardt, “seems to be a popular thing right now.”
Mayor Leonhardt says Bear Lake and Garden City have always been destined to grow because it’s a very beautiful area with mountains on both sides of a beautiful lake, lots of trails to hike, and a place where people can get out of the big cities and move to a rural place with a better environment, better air to breathe, and a great place to raise families. He says, “Its a crazy growth spurt that we’re seeing.” He commented that the whole Bear Lake area has a lot of open space with great school systems, and great services from hospitals to schools to shopping. People don’t need to go to the big city to do their shopping any more; they can shop right here in Bear Lake’s interesting shops. Or, if they don’t find what they want here, they can shop online and have it delivered right to their door. He says, “I would move here too! The traffic, the air in the cities! There is no appeal for me to live there!”
Mayor Leonhardt says he is specifically seeing a lot of townhouses being built; there are 137 townhouses on the docket to be built just in Garden City alone. There is also a new grocery store being built there with an Ace Hardware and other amenities inside the store. He says there are people investing within the community to build other things that are coming to town as well, he just can’t comment on them at this time. But he says, “It’s not stopping!”
He also says Garden City has just improved their water system through a $5 million project in preparation for the new growth. According to Mayor Leonhardt, Garden City is constantly looking at its infrastructure to keep up with the growth such as its roads, water, and sewer.
Mayor Leonhardt also mentioned there are developers looking at expanding and developing new camping resorts which are very close to being announced within Garden City. Within a month or so, he will be able to release information on developments coming that “will be a huge announcement.”
Two years ago, Bridgerland Adventure Park was installed partially up Logan Canyon, and there are plans in the works to expand that and put additional features in it. There is also talk of more development in the canyon area. Mayor Leonhardt says within the next two to three years there will be more housing development in that area with a future hotel, apartments, and restaurants in the works. However, he says until it actually “hits his desk,” it is “just talk.” Whether they go through with it is something different.
As mentioned in an earlier article, UDOT is putting a new frontage road into the Utah State Marina with construction that began Monday. Mayor Leonhardt says they will also be installing a crosswalk and beacons so that people can safely cross over the highway. With the number of people who frequent Garden City in the summer months, they are trying to have a safe way for them to walk and for motorists to be aware of them with the beacons.
Within the next couple of years, Garden City will also have two more traffic lights. They are installing one right now at the Bear Lake Parkway, or Third West, where the new grocery store will be on Paradise Parkway and US 89.
Mayor Leonhardt feels growth will continue all along the Bear Lake corridor, from Garden City to Montpelier. He says, “As long as when it comes it follows the zoning laws of the cities. Those things are important within the community to make sure you keep the growth and to protect the residents that have been there a long time.”
He goes on to say, “I hope the county commissioners and all the mayors will support the growth because it is crucial to the development and keeping businesses open. I also hope the communities will support the growth as it continues. Growth is going to happen whether you want it to or not, no matter where you are. You can’t stop it.”