A State-of-the-Art Tech Campus to Inspire Innovation
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Can the right environment encourage entrepreneurship and innovation? The Muller Company believes it can with its investment in the 85-acre Canyon Park Tech Center at 701 E. Timpanogos Parkway in Orem.
The expansive campus was initially established by the WordPerfect Corporation in the 1980s and was later owned by Novel before being sold to a private investor. The property has 14 buildings and features nearly 1 million square feet of office space. It’s portioned off into spaces for lease that range from 100 square feet to 60,000 square feet.
The Muller Company is embracing the campus’ history as a launching pad for innovation and wants to continue to cultivate that “embedded entrepreneurial mindset,” according to Justin Farnsworth, general manager of the Canyon Park Tech Center.
Leases are open to any professional firm, not exclusive to tech companies. But Farnsworth notes, “We want to stay true to the initial story of a tech company that started in one room and grew to become a company that required 100,000 square feet of space.”
The Muller Company is an opportunistic real estate investment, development, and management firm. Canyon Park was its first acquisition in the Utah market.
Farnsworth says the Muller Company saw this as an opportunity to create a state-of-the-art tech campus that doesn’t yet exist in Utah. Taking inspiration from Silicon Valley tech campus designs, the intent is to bolster Utah’s burgeoning Silicon Slopes.
The company invested $9 million in cosmetic and capital improvements to revitalize the park. It upgraded the common areas and grounds. It added new lobbies, restrooms, and a 15,000 square foot amenity center with full-service gym, lounge, game room, and café.
Like many tech spaces, the open campus environment at the base of the Wasatch Mountains has many common spaces, which are designed to encourage conversation and creative exchange to inspire new ideas. There are also outdoor amenities including covered eating areas, a hammock garden for relaxing, as well as volleyball and basketball courts.
It’s a park-like atmosphere with the Murdock Canal Trail running through the middle of campus.
The campus has a “live, work, and play type of mindset,” according to Farnsworth. “We embrace that philosophy here.”
The management is bringing in additional amenities to its tenants, such as food trucks and services like a mobile barber shop and car window rock chip repair.
A number of tech companies in varying stages occupy space at Canyon Park. Some started small and grew considerably, such as Omniture and Blue Host. Larger tenants like Fishbowl and Wayfair also found a home at Canyon Park.
Farnsworth notes that the Muller Company has a great partnership with the City of Orem. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed, they’re very supportive and excited about what we’re doing. That public-private partnership is exactly what makes our state so special in terms of economic development.”
The campus was more than half occupied at the time of its sale in 2018. About 3,500 people are employed there. “When it’s fully occupied, there could be as many as 12,000 people coming and going every single day,” says Farnsworth. “That potential economic impact is enormous.”