A major international real-estate firm and team that includes the award-winning architects of Salt Lake City's Main Library have put in proposals to build a Broadway-style theater downtown.
The city's Redevelopment Agency received two proposals before an application window closed last week, said RDA executive director D.J. Baxter.
One proposal came from the Hines Co.; the other came from a team comprised of developers Hamilton Partners and Swisher Garfield Traub and Main Library architects Steve Crane and Moshe Safdie.
"It's an interesting project, and we think it's phenomenal for downtown Salt Lake City," said Dusty Harris, a project manager at Hines.
With more than 1,100 buildings in its resume and control of approximately $26 billion in assets, Hines is one of the world's largest privately owned, international real-estate firms.
But the company is no stranger to Salt Lake City, Harris said. Hines purchased the Kearns Building on Main Street in 1988 and the Cottonwood Corporate Center in 2005.
Over the past few years, Hines has been involved in the construction of Petco Park in San Diego, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Orlando Performing Arts Center and the New World Symphony in Miami.
While many have disputed the viability of a Broadway-style theater in the city, Hines officials believe it could work in downtown Salt Lake.
"If it didn't have the potential of becoming a reality, we wouldn't waste our time," Harris said. "We've been watching it from across the street for a while. We would like to see that Main Street corridor enhanced."
Hines is interested in the potential for developing a mixed-use site next to the theater. Both projects would allow the company to expand its Salt Lake presence, Harris said.
"We're bullish on the economy here," he said. "Clearly we're having some rocky patches right now. But, long term, Salt Lake City is a place we want to have a large footprint in."
Crane, a Salt Lake City architect, said Swisher and Safdie have experience building "world-class" performance halls from Kansas City, Mo., to Singapore. And Crane said he would like to bring the success he and Safdie experienced with the city's Main Library to downtown.
"To do that right on Main Street next to the (City Creek) development would just be awesome," Crane said. "I think it would be wonderful and help to springboard new development — a renaissance, if you will — for Main Street."
The city does not have a timeline for selecting a proposal, Baxter said.