Downtown Mall Plan Emerges

Downtown Mall Plan Emerges

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Sandra Yi ReportingThe two downtown malls could be connected as part of a new redevelopment plan by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A skywalk could connect the Crossroads Mall and ZCMI Center.

A Church spokesperson says it's all part of a plan to create a world-class development downtown. Crossroads Mall retailers say they're in the dark when it comes to the Church's plans for downtown redevelopment.

Jodi Bambrough, Salt Lake T-Shirt Company: “They just say they’re going to revitalize downtown and that’s a huge work, you know.”

Still, Bambrough, owner of the Salt Lake T-Shirt Company, has a renewed hope for a struggling Main Street.

Bambrough: “They said they’re not going to interrupt business and so, if anything, it will bring more people downtown to see what they’re doing. But that’s all we really know.”

At least one retailer is not so optimistic.

Ivan Hendren, Jungle Roses: "I don't know what they could do to increase traffic to a point where I would be willing to stay."

A July memo to mall tenants says an overall plan for retail development includes creating a department store-anchored fashion center in an area that would mix commercial and residential development.

Bambrough: "There are so many more people using the train and that train stop is right here, so I think it'll be great. And then as far as Gateway, it's all getting filled up with residential, so why can't we do it?"

The Church also plans to combine the Crossroads Mall and the ZCMI Center, possibly with a skywalk. Some mall tenants call it a good idea for the winters, but a skywalk counters the city's downtown plan adopted 10 years ago.

Rocky Anderson: "I know that there are many of us that believe sky bridges segregate people and keep people off the streets and we want to tie the entire downtown area and not make this about two shopping areas."

Whatever the plans, retailers like Bambrough are eager to hear more details of what could be a new downtown.

Bambrough: "Something needs to happen and the Church has money and so I think they'll do something. Almost anything they do, they do well."

The mayor says the skywalk could be a sticking point but he also says the plans will bring major, positive changes to downtown that the Church has the resources to make. When those plans will be finalized is unknown. The Church says it is reviewing conceptual plans with tenants.

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