SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its development partner on the City Creek Center project are in negotiations to bring a gym to the downtown development.

The facility would have a pool, racquetball courts and typical weightlifting and cardio equipment.

"We are in the final stage of negotiations with a major health facility," City Creek Reserve President Mark Gibbons said Thursday during a presentation for the Utah Conference of Minority Transportation Officials and the Salt Lake branch of the NAACP at the Little America Hotel. "It's not 100 percent, but at this point, it's probably 98 percent of the way there."

Gym memberships would be open to anyone, not just people who live or work at City Creek Center, said Dale Bills, City Creek Reserve spokesman.

"If negotiations are successfully concluded with a health club operator, we expect that the club will open with the rest of the retail center in March 2012," Bills said.

City Creek Reserve Inc., a development arm of the LDS Church, and partner Taubman Centers Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., have been redeveloping three blocks of downtown Salt Lake City — including the former locations of Crossroads Plaza and ZCMI Center — into a mix of residential, retail and office space.

Gibbons said the 20-acre development will include eight office towers, 700 residential units, 5,000 underground parking stalls and more than 80 retailers anchored by Nordstrom and Macy's. Some parts of City Creek already are open.

Church officials have not disclosed the project's cost, but estimates have ranged between $1 billion and $3 billion. The entire center is expected to be finished by spring of 2012.

Gibbons also revealed more details about the environmental elements of the development. The portion of City Creek that runs underground will be brought to the surface and vegetated with native plants.

"We'll actually have trout in a portion of the water system that flows through the project," he said.

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The developers have hired Sun Valley, Calif.-based Wet Design, which has made award-winning water fountains throughout the world — including the famous fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas — to design water features for City Creek Center.

"There will be some that are musically choreographed," Gibbons said, "and some features never implemented before."

City Creek Reserve officials declined to reveal more, saying they didn't want to spoil the unveiling in 2012 by Wet Design.

"I'll give you the teaser that there's some fire involved, and it will be quite dramatic," Gibbons said.

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