A premier retail, office and residential development will rise on nearly 20 acres across three blocks in the heart of Salt Lake City over the next five years, making the city one of few in the nation with a vibrant, mixed development of this scale at its core.
A conceptual design plan for the project was presented to the Salt Lake City Council today by Bishop H. David Burton, presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The conceptual plan was presented earlier to Mayor Rocky Anderson who is out of town this week. The Church is developing the property through its commercial real estate arm, Property Reserve, Incorporated (PRI).
Demolition of part of the site will begin early next month, starting in the northwest portion of the redevelopment area. A progressive wave of demolition will move roughly west to east, followed by excavation and site preparation that will take about a year.
As outlined by Bishop Burton, the project will include:
- Up to three national department stores to anchor a retail component that will include a complement of nationally recognized in-line retail tenants.
- New, refurbished and renamed office towers.
- New residential buildings.
- A full-service grocery store to serve a growing downtown population.
- The reopening or extension of historic downtown streets as pedestrian walkways through two of the blocks — Richards Street, Regent Street and Social Hall Avenue.
- Fountains and man-made streams to represent the historic South Fork of City Creek supplemented by approximately six acres of gardens and open space.
- Underground parking to accommodate some 5,600 vehicles
Bishop Burton shared with the city council design concepts of what the redeveloped blocks may look like, but stressed that final architectural plans will not be completed until next year.
“These are conceptual design plans to show how the retail, residential and office elements relate to each other, and how the project will handle open space and environmental issues,” he said. “These are not architectural drawings of what each building will look like.”
A downloadable schematic site plan showing proposed locations of retail, office and residential space is available at www.downtownrising.com.
Acknowledging that today’s announcement has been years in the making, Bishop Burton expressed gratitude and appreciation to all involved for their commitment to making downtown Salt Lake City an extraordinary place to live and do business. “More than 240 retail and office tenants have worked with us to make this happen. Many are relocating; many are staying in place. Everybody — leaseholders, the city council, Mayor Anderson, city staff and our team of planners, architects and developers — have all come together in the best interests of the future of our city,” he said.
Project planners have been hard at work to harmonize the retail, office and residential components of City Creek Center, the working name for the development. The Church sees the development of the three city-center blocks as an integral part of the broader revitalization of the central city — including the Gateway and expanded educational facilities at Triad Center — all working together to create a vibrant and attractive downtown.
William S. Taubman, chief operating officer of Taubman Centers, Inc., informed the city council that the national anchors at City Creek Center will be Nordstrom, Macy’s and perhaps a third department store that may be named later. Additional shops will line pedestrian walkways linking the three department stores.
The major retail leasing will be managed by Taubman Centers, a leading developer and operator of innovative retail environments. Taubman has been a consultant to PRI throughout the planning process leading to today’s announcement.
“We've enjoyed working with the Church on what we believe will be one of the most exciting retail developments in the country,” said William Taubman, “and we look forward to its successful completion."
Commenting on an announcement made to store employees earlier in the day that the current Nordstrom and Macy’s downtown locations will be closing after the first of the year, Mr. Taubman said that initial planning had anticipated that the department stores could remain open through reconstruction. However, virtually all existing retail buildings and two of the standing office towers will have to be completely demolished in order to construct underground parking and allow for major reconfiguration of the blocks.
He confirmed that because new retail space will not be ready until project completion, Nordstrom and Macy’s will work with employees of their downtown locations to assist them in transferring to other company stores in Utah or in finding new employment.
Bishop Burton announced that a new office structure will replace the Deseret Building on the corner of Main Street and 100 South. The First Security branch of Wells Fargo and the offices of the Eccles Foundation, both currently housed in the Deseret Building, will be relocated on a temporary basis and then reopen at Main and 100 South once the new building is complete.
Other changes in office space include relocation of the Beneficial Financial Group to Gateway Tower West on the corner of Main and South Temple, just west of the newly refurbished Zions Bank Building. Gateway Tower West will be renamed the Beneficial Financial Group Tower.
The existing Key Bank building will come down to make way for new retail development. Key Bank will be moving in the spring of 2007 to what is now the Beneficial Financial Group Tower. That building, at 36 South State Street, will become the new Key Bank Tower.
During construction, the ground floor of the Eagle Gate Tower on South Temple and State Street and the lower level of the new Key Bank Tower will house a few retail shops and a food court to accommodate tenants of existing downtown office buildings. Parking will be provided at locations on adjacent blocks.
Private residences will be an integral element of City Creek Center. In the initial phase of the project, Bishop Burton indicated that 200 residential units will be built along South Temple Street.
Bishop Burton also announced that additional residential space will be built south of Social Hall Avenue on the east side of State Street by Cowboy Partners, a Utah-based residential development and management company.
More downtown housing may be constructed as demand requires. In determining current and future sites for residential construction at City Creek Center, planners are working to take full advantage of view lines to downtown landmarks and the surrounding Wasatch Mountains.
To serve a growing urban population throughout the downtown area, Bishop Burton announced that Harmons Grocery Stores, also a Utah company, will build a full-service grocery store on property along 100 South between State Street and 200 East.
Architects working on all components of the project are incorporating environmentally responsible, sustainable design concepts that make wise use of energy resources.
Because a number of downtown projects will be happening simultaneously, changes in parking and traffic flow will be inevitable. Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake Chamber have engaged the W.A. Knowles Company, a consulting firm specializing in construction impact mitigation, to work with project managers, city officials and chamber leadership. Information on overall mitigation efforts for problems arising from downtown development will be available at www.downtownrising.com.
A model of the proposed development design will be on display for a week at the Salt Lake City and County Building, and then for a week at a time in each of the seven council districts in Salt Lake City. A schedule of display dates and locations will be announced later this week. Public comments can be submitted through the Downtown Rising Web site: www.downtownrising.com.
More information on today’s announcement and downloadable images of site plan schematics can also be found at www.downtownrising.com. City Creek Center pages on the Downtown Rising Web site will be updated as work on the project progresses.