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Salt Lake City Overhaul Planned

The Mormon Church will redevelop three city blocks downtown in a $1-billion project.

October 04, 2006|From the Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon church, a major downtown property owner, announced a $1-billion-plus project Tuesday that calls for commercial, residential and retail space after the demolition of many longtime landmarks.

City Creek Center will cover 20 acres and three city blocks, between West Temple Street and 200 East, across from Temple Square and the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When the demolition starts Nov. 1, the Inn at Temple Square, Key Bank Tower, the Deseret Building, and the Crossroads and ZCMI shopping malls eventually will be gone.

The revamped city blocks will have 1.9 million square feet of office space and 928,000 square feet of retail space, anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's and a yet unnamed department store, said H. David Burton, a church elder.

The development's two major shopping centers would be linked by a skywalk over Main Street.

"We're committed to doing this project in the right way. This can set the course for Salt Lake's downtown for generations to come," Burton told Salt Lake's City Council before unveiling a model of the project. "The church for the last 160 years has heavily invested in Salt Lake.... This is another example of that investment."

Plans include at least 300 apartments and condominiums in four locations. To accommodate those residents, Harmons Grocery Stores will build a full-service 55,000-square-foot store near State Street and 100 South. Housing developers may also build apartments above the store.

There would be at least six acres of open space, including fountains, ponds and a stream to replicate the south fork of City Creek, which once flowed through downtown.

Pedestrian walkways would be built along the historical paths of old city streets -- Richards, Regent and Social Hall Avenue.

The mall would be closed on Sundays, following the Mormon church's practice of keeping the Sabbath sacred.

Construction is not expected to be complete until 2011.

Businesses and retail shops now operating in the area are expected to remain open until January. Some will relocate to other downtown space, Burton said.

No tax dollars, or tithes from the 12.5 million Mormons, will be used in construction, Burton said. The church is developing the center through its commercial real-estate arm, Property Reserve Inc.

Other partners include Michigan-based mall developer Taubman Centers Inc. and Utah-based Cowboy Partners.

Final architectural plans are expected by fall 2007, along with other project details still in development, Burton said.

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