(Photo: Salt Lake Tribune)
Downtown Salt Lake City is in for a major face-lift to be completed in 2011. The project named City Creek Center will encompass 20 acres right in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City between 100 East and West Temple and 100 South and South Temple.
Planned for the project is 2 Million square feet of leasable office space, 928,000 square feet of retail space, 5600 underground parking stalls, over 400 high-rise condos (not including additional future residential development), a sky-walk over State Street and more than 6 full acres of open-air pedestrian walkways and paths, including a glass-roof arcade, gardens and fountains. Water will flow throughout the green space, descending more than 47 feet from one end to the other.
The LDS church owns most of the land and, along with its development partners Michigan-based Taubman Centers Inc (which will develop the retail space), Utah-based Cowboy Partners (which will develop the housing), and Property Reserve Inc. (building the office space), will develop the property. And with the church financing the more than $1.5 Billion project, no public money will be used. The malls will be closed on Sundays, but some restaurants, many with liquor permits, will remain open seven days/week. And because the land is privately owned, public demonstrations are out.
The developers say they want the open space to have the “same ambiance we have on Temple Square”. Taubman Centers Inc owns and operates 23 malls in 11 states, including California, Colorado and Arizona. The publicly-traded company is “very choosy about the communities they go into,” says Bob Cannon, supervisor of Clinton Township, Michigan, where Taubman is building a 640,000 square foot mall. Typically the company builds in affluent, growing communities. Cannon adds, “You’ve won the lottery.” Mayor Rocky Anderson, once a critic of the proposed downtown renovation, is now a huge supporter, saying “It’s the most positive thing for our downtown that’s happened in my lifetime. The project will help revitalize our downtown area like nothing else could.”
The church will gather public comments this month via a website, www.downtownrising.com , and with open houses throughout the city.