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Grand opening for 222 Main tower

Published: Friday, Dec. 4 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

The newly completed 222 Main is Salt Lake City's first new office building in a decade. The tower is 22 stories.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

The Salt Lake City skyline has taken on a new look with the addition of a state-of-the-art downtown office tower.

Thursday marked the grand opening of the city's first new office building in a decade as Illinois-based Hamilton Partners announced completion of the 22-story, $125 million office building that — at 316 feet tall — will be one of the tallest buildings in the valley.

Among the first tenants in the new building, called 222 Main, will be real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, along with law firms Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione and Holland & Hart. Occupancy is scheduled to begin in January.

Bruce Bingham, a partner with the commercial real estate developer, said the building is about 20 percent leased with another 30 percent currently under negotiation. He estimates that it would likely take a year or two to get the building fully occupied.

"We would like to be operating in a stronger economy, but we see the economy strengthening," he said. "It's going to take longer for us to fill the building than we might have expected."

Construction on the project began in August 2007.

In addition to its 22 stories above ground, the building has two underground floors, which will be used primarily for parking, as well as some storage areas and service-utilities space.

The building was designed by architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the same firm that designed the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in downtown Chicago.

Masis Mesropian, the building's senior designer, told the Deseret News that the project "tries to be a minimal expression of architecture."

"It tries to fit into a very dense, historic environment," he said. "It tries to fit in in a comfortable way of matching materiality, matching texture."

He said that among the difficulties in the project's construction was the location of the site in the middle of the block with few options for access points for bringing in materials.

"It was a bit of a challenge, but we came up with a very clean solution," Mesropian said. "The building is very open and welcoming … very inviting."

222 Main details

Comprises about 459,000 square feet of office space.

Includes 4,843 tons of steel in its "skeleton." Placed end-to-end, the 6,257 pieces of steel would stretch 20.75 miles.

Contains more than 201 miles of electrical wiring and electronic cable.

Features 3,665 pieces of exterior glass totaling 141,242 square feet, or enough to cover almost 2.5 football fields.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the same firm that designed the John Hancock Center and Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago.

e-mail: jlee@desnews.com

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