OREM — A longtime eyesore in the middle of Orem is about to get a new lease on life.
Midtown Village on State Street between 300 South and 400 South has sat mostly vacant ever since the money dried up to finish the construction. In 2005, it was billed as the project to revitalize the middle of Orem with retail, offices and housing. In 2008, the project ground to a halt.
The south tower was mostly finished on the outside, but the north tower was still in the early stages of construction when the project fell into bankruptcy.
A host of liens from the builders and lenders had to be sorted out in court, but now new investors have purchased the property and will get to work right away.
Just last week the project, now named Midtown 360, was sold to the Ritchie Group. It broke ground Wednesday on the project, and work started immediately on the south tower.
"This has been a No. 1 issue and a topic of discussion for years,” Mayor Richard Brunst said. “So this is a very big day, and we are really excited. This is going to be a beautiful project.”
This has been a No. 1 issue and a topic of discussion for years. So this is a very big day, and we are really excited. This is going to be a beautiful project.
–Orem Mayor Richard Brunst
Brunst said it would take about six months to complete the south tower, then about two years to build the north tower, and then work on the west towers will begin.
“So you are going to see retail space, up along the bottom. We are going to see office space in the middle, and then we are going to see residential on top,” the mayor said.
Several businesses expressed interest in setting up shop in the south tower when the project started, including Pizzeria Seven Twelve.
“We were nervous we weren’t going to get a spot,” Pizzeria Seven Twelve owner Joseph McRae said. “It seemed like a lot of people were interested, and so we picked this spot and moved forward with it, and as fate had it, we became the only ones that made it.”
But the timing couldn’t have been worse. Not long after the oven was fired up, Midtown Village fell into bankruptcy and construction stopped. Nothing has happened on the project for more than five years.
While people have been living in 41 apartments previously finished, another 500 upscale residential units will be part of the project, and lower floors will house retail shops.
“This is really, I think, the wave of the future, having a mixed-use facility like this here in the middle of Orem, and I believe that this is going to be a real jewel for the city,” Brunst said.
Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc
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