An idea, a plan and more than seven million hours of work is now reality — City Creek Center, built on three downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, blocks, is complete and open to the public.
“We’re so pleased to join with the Taubman Company in inviting the world to come to downtown Salt Lake City,” announced President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). President Eyring spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening City Creek Center. He talked about the “beautifully landscaped walkways and gathering places, innovative and yet timeless architecture, cascading waterfalls, choreographed fountains and meandering creek.”
It has been over five years since Bishop H. David Burton, presiding bishop of the Church, first presented the conceptual design to the Salt Lake City Council in October 2006.
At the beginning, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008), leader of the Church at the time City Creek Center was announced, said of the proposed development, “Renewed vitality at the head of Main Street will result in increased vitality throughout the entire city. We of the Church have wanted to keep our city youthful and attractive. People come here to Temple Square from all over the world in ever-increasing numbers, and it is important that we keep the Square and its environs beautiful and inviting.”
President Eyring said, “Everything we see around us is evidence of the longstanding commitment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Salt Lake City. The Church’s unwavering commitment to this community is enduringly expressed in the resources provided to renew and revitalize here in the heart of the city.”
At its construction peak in the fall of 2009, there were more than 1,700 workers, including over 300 contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and consultants, who worked on City Creek. The construction project has been a major boon to Utah’s economy and has helped keep the state’s unemployment rate low.
In March of 2011, Bishop Burton was the recipient of the Salt Lake Chamber’s “Giant in Our City” Award. In remarks upon receiving the honor, Bishop Burton said, “The true ‘giant in our city’ is all of us, hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder, coming together to do good things, to do hard things, and do them in a way that blesses this community and its residents and its wonderful institutions.”
The 23-acre center for residential, business and retail opportunities has 535 residential units now with more to come, 1.7 million square feet of office space and 900,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. In addition there is a food court, grocery store (opened February 2012), 5,000 underground parking spaces and a creek feature with a living ecosystem.