Plans Continue for Renovated Downtown

Plans Continue for Renovated Downtown

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Keith McCord ReportingThe Salt Lake City Council has made its decision on which stores it will allow to locate at The Gateway. Now other efforts are underway in the downtown area to position the city in the middle of a changing skyline.

We've known for months that there are plans for the two malls in the downtown area, and big plans for a new campus for LDS Business College. But that's not all.

Something new is coming to downtown Salt Lake. Today, Salt Lake Community College announced that it plans to acquire a seven-story building on the corner of Main Street and First South. The school has 12 satellite campuses throughout the valley; this facility will become a part of that network.

The planning and design continue for the huge redevelopment of the Mall area of Main Street. The LDS Church is working with national consultants to come up with the right mix of business and residential. Ron Pastore, the lead consultant on the project is in town this week, and says what makes the Salt Lake redesign easier is that that it's not starting from scratch.

Ron Pastore, AEW Capital Management: "That also makes it exciting, because you're also dealing with existing patterns, and can see how people are using it, and say how can we make it better? That's the nice part. You're not creating something out of a hole. There's already 60,000 people working in the area, and that's a tremendous engine to work with."

The key components to the project are the Crossroads and ZCMI Malls, which will get a major make-over. And down the street, where the Olympic medals plaza used to be, will be the relocation of LDS Business College, and the Salt Lake Campus of BYU.

A lot of "balls in the air" to be sure, but Pastore says he's impressed that all parties involved-- City Hall, LDS Church planners, Chamber of Commerce, etc.-- are focused on the common goal, making downtown more vibrant.

Ron Pastore, AEW Capital Management: "As I mentioned before, the quality of the civic debate here, is much higher. And yes, there's politics, like there is everywhere. But in terms of variations from pole to pole, is much narrower and there's much more of a consensus from a principle standpoint on what needs to happen."

Time frame to get started? Nothing official yet. The planners say this isn't a "cookie cutter" project that's been used in other cities. It's unique, and the key will be to pull it off with a minimum amount of disruption.

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