Mayor looks to finalize location of new public safety building

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A major downtown project is now heading out of the gates. Last month, voters in Salt Lake City approved a $125 million bond to build a new public safety building. Now, the city is looking to finalize a location. [CLICK HERE to look at the mayor's timeline]

The place just east of Library Square at 300 East between 400 and 500 South came out as the preferred location. There was originally a public outcry when the east portion of Library Square was proposed as a possible site for the complex. Since then the city has looked at 10 sites, focusing on those east of State Street -- locations that are considered better when it comes to earthquake safety. The site across from Library Square then became the front-runner.

Frank Gray, director of community and economic development, said, "This particular site here came out on the highest ranking prior to the election, and I think the mayor really wanted to give the public the general idea what he was looking at prior to the election and said this was his and the council's preferred site."

The six-story Barnes Bank building, which is already owned by the city, could be torn down or renovated. The other two buildings on the east side of the block would be demolished.

The city will build two buildings: one for public safety administration, the other for emergency operations. The main building is likely to be three to five stories high.

The city plans to hire a project manager, architect and contractor soon.

Construction would likely start in about a year -- with completion in three to four years.

The public gets a chance to look at site evaluations and analysis and discuss the options Monday night at a meeting at the Main Library at 210 E. 400 South, from 6 to 8:30.

A decision on the site is expected on Dec. 18.


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John Daley


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