Story by: Spencer Peters
The long anticipated wait for the opening of City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City is finally in the home stretch. The wait is down to a mere three months until the March grand opening, which will mark a new phase for Salt Lake City economy and its development as a major metropolitan area.
Announced in October of 2006 by the Church of Latter-Day Saints, City Creek Center, will offer over 800,000 square feet of shopping, restaurants and office space over 23-acres in downtown Salt Lake.
In addition, there is an underground parking garage offering 56-hundred parking stalls which has already been open to the public and the residents in the four residential towers which were a focal point of this massive project.
Chase Carpenter, City Creek condominium owner, said, “Having seen this project evolve over the past five years, it’s exciting to see it come together in its final stages.”
To help live up to expectations, Taubman Centers Inc. announced, via press release on Sept. 13, 2011, the first 20 retailers moving into the 800,000 square foot structure – all of whom are new to the market. Along with anchor stores Macy’s and Nordstrom, the shopping center will be opening nationally recognized names, such as Coach, Brooks Brothers and Tiffany & Co.
There are also a slew of unique features on the project, including a fully retractable glass roof, a sky bridge over Main Street and a re-creation of City Creek, the snow-fed stream that once flowed through the city.
Current Nordstrom employee, Ashlin Gunn, said, “They really are pulling out all of the stops to make this new location special…there is a lot of excitement in the air for the potential this new store will bring.”
One interesting fact that stands out significantly about City Creek it’s the only major shopping mall to open in the United States next year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Being able to build through a recession, high unemployment rates, and a diminishing housing market can seem like a daunting task, but not for the LDS Church.
No loans were taken out, nor was any public money sought. The $1.5 billion budget for the development was generated through church-affiliated businesses and years of putting reserves aside, which allowed them to build through a recession, according to Dale Bills, spokesman for City Creek Reserve Inc.
Assistant Dean at the David Eccles School of Business, Brad Vierig, said, “It’s simply amazing what they were able to put together during the recession…City Creek is going to have an extremely positive effect on the Salt Lake City and Utah economy.”
Hundreds of jobs have already been created for construction workers and developers with another 2,000 on the way once the project is completely finished., according to Linda Wardell, retail general manager for the project. City Creek is estimated to contribute $1 million a day for the local economy.
City Creek Center is only the first piece of the puzzle for the future of Salt Lake City living and the visions of its metropolitan future. The LDS Church and the Salt Lake government have created their “Downtown Rising Project.”
Downtown Rising is a concept that was introduced in 2006 as a way to build off of the success of the 2002 Winter Olympics and the idea of turning Salt Lake into a “global community.”
In addition to City Creek Center, developers have drawn up plans for various other community buildings, including a Global Exchange Place, Performing Arts Center, Public Market and a Metropolitan Sports and Fitness Center. All of these projects are highly dependent if City Creek lives up to its vaunted hype.
March 22, 2012 will mark the official and highly anticipated grand opening of the new City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Approximately 80 stores and restaurants will be opening their doors to the public. It will mark the dawn of a new economic era for all of Utah. (660)