City Creek moves ahead despite economic downturn

Published: Monday, Sept. 26 2011 10:12 p.m. MDT

Regional shopping malls are losing tenants, resulting in higher vacancy rates, according to Severino's retail analysis for the second quarter of 2011.

"The increase in the vacancy rate could have been worse if not for the absence of new completions," he said.

New construction of regional shopping centers like City Creek the first half of 2011 have slowed to the lowest amount since 1999, when Reis began tracking such data, said Brad Doremus, another Reis analyst.

By the time it receives customers on March 22, church officials will have invested a decade in City Creek. Initial planning for the project began in 2002, shortly after Salt Lake City played host to the world in the Winter Olympics.

Church subsidiaries already owned the ZCMI Center and added the neighboring Crossroads Mall in 2003. It was about that time that church officials struck up a relationship with Taubman, first as a consultant and eventually as a full-fledged partner, Bills said.

"We are one of the only retail projects in the country coming online in 2012," said Linda Wardell, Taubman's general manager for City Creek. "As retailers are making their choices about where to expand, there aren't a lot of choices out there."

And even if there were "City Creek Center is such an amazing project that retailers were lining up to be part of City Creek Center before anything started going on with the economy," she said.

Contributing: Joey Ferguson

Email: jpage@desnews.com

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