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'We've never built a project quite like this,' City Creek developer says

Published: Wednesday, March 16 2011 6:14 p.m. MDT

Bill Taubman, developer of City Creek, stands with City Creek and downtown skyline in Salt Lake City, on Wednesday, March 16, 2011.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — When the City Creek Center opens next year, it will have been one of the most heavily touted and anticipated retail developments in Utah history.

For that reason and more, the estimated $1 billion mixed-use project is also one of the most unique projects as well, according to the chief operating officer of the company who will be accountable for running it.

Bill Taubman is responsible for development, operations and leasing for Taubman Centers Inc. He also serves as a director of the company.

Looking back on his more than 20 years in the industry, he said City Creek Center has already distinguished itself as one of the more distinctive developments the company has ever been involved with.

"This is a classic mixed use urban project," he said. "It represents the best of the design ideas that are around today."

Taubman was in Utah Wednesday to attend a Salt Lake Chamber event to honor Bishop H. David Burton, presiding bishop of the LDS Church, as a "Giant in Our City."

Headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Taubman Centers Inc. currently operates 26 retail shopping centers across the country, with six others in development — including properties in Asia and Puerto Rico.

Upon completion, City Creek will feature approximately 800,000 square feet of shopping and dining space. Among the unique attributes of the 23-acre development that will include a mix of residences, retail and office space, will be a fully retractable glass roof, a sky bridge over Main Street and a realistic re-creation of City Creek, the snow-fed stream that once coursed through the city.

The retail center will anchor the property's master plan developed by City Creek Reserve, Inc. — a real estate subsidiary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He said while the company has developed shopping center projects for more than 50 years, "We've never built a project quite like this."

The fact that the project will function as both an indoor and outdoor retail center makes it truly "one of a kind" in the company's vast property portfolio.

"I think it's the only project in America that's been built with a retractable roof that really works," Taubman said. Considering the unique and innovative design attributes of the project that complement the urban living components also included in the historic development, he said the downtown area will blossom in a way never before seen in Salt Lake City.

"(City Creek Center) will create a three dimensionality that doesn't exist today," Taubman said. 

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com

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