The development has already begun to attract new proprietors along the central business corridor. According to data compiled by the Downtown Alliance, more than 20 new businesses have opened their doors in the Central Business District since January 2011 in addition to the 26 businesses that began operation in 2010.
Ray Francom opened his second Salt Lake barbershop at 154 S. Main in previously vacant space that was once part of the old Utah Theater. He said he chose the location because it offers a great chance to grow his business in an area that is expected to take off with the opening of the new shopping and residential development.
"The new mall … is really making people look at new opportunities down here," Francom said. "There are four new businesses in this building alone."
The proprietor of a neighboring local custom clothier, Beckett & Robb, said choosing a Main Street location for its first retail shop was "definitely because of City Creek."
"We have options to have stores anywhere we want, and City Creek will drive a lot of traffic," said co-founder Jason Yeats. "There is a revitalization going on downtown … but the community has got to be retrained that there are great (retail) options downtown and City Creek will be a huge part of that."
While not every establishment is located in the direct vicinity of the City Creek project, much of the growth can be attributed to the construction of the new Main Street development.
"The reason so many businesses are moving back in on Main Street is the anticipation of City Creek opening," said Camille Winnie, community development director for the Downtown Alliance. "They are betting that (the center) is going to be beneficial to them."
In addition to the new residents, unofficial estimates forecast the number of annual visitors in the 15 million to 17 million range.
"Our hope is not only will (people) visit City Creek, The Gateway and the rest of the downtown businesses, that it creates a thriving business community all throughout downtown," Winnie said. "That's the hope and expectation that pretty much everybody has."
The $1.5 billion mixed-use project was developed by City Creek Reserve Inc. — a for-profit real estate company owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Project partner Taubman Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. will operate the retail portion of the project. The company currently operates 26 retail shopping centers across the country, with six others in development — including properties in Asia and Puerto Rico. To date, Taubman has invested about $76 million into the project.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, City Creek Center will be the only retail center opening in the U.S. in 2012.
Top list: City Creek Center shops and stores
City Creek Center photo gallery: A view from demolition to construction in downtown Salt Lake City
Historical photo gallery: Historic Eagle Gate a prominent Salt Lake landmark
Historical photo gallery: Store displays give a window to Christmas over the years
Historical photo gallery: Downtown Salt Lake City thrived as shopping mecca for century
Historical photo gallery: Salt Lake streets have seen many changes over past 150 years
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