S.L County purchases land near courthouse for D.A. office building

Published: Tuesday, May 20 2014 3:35 p.m. MDT

Salt Lake County has completed the purchase of land near Matheson Courthouse for a planned office building for the district attorney's office.

Johanna Workman, Deseret News Archives

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SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County has completed the purchase of 3.1 acres on the northeast corner of 500 South and Main Street for a planned building for the district attorney's office.

The land was purchased for $9.1 million from Property Reserve Inc., a commercial real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The planned office building will be constructed behind the Matheson Courthouse.

"Once they’ve moved in, our dedicated team of prosecutors will be steps away from where they do most of their work — the courthouse,” Mayor Ben McAdams said.

A new home for the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office was proposed nearly 20 years ago, and the County Council issued a $33 million bond for the project in 2010.

However, the project has run into a number of complications. An earlier purchase of 2.3 acres at the southwest corner of 600 S. State was problematic because it lacked space for employee parking.

McAdams said that land will be sold and proceeds and will be used to construct the office building on Main.

“We know that owning the building is more cost-effective for county taxpayers than leasing office space. We project we’ll save at least $13 million over 30 years," McAdams said in a statement.

The county spends nearly $1.5 million a year to rent office space in three locations.

Salt Lake County plans to design and build an energy-efficient structure, officials said. The building's proximity to the Courthouse TRAX stop will enable building tenants, law enforcement officials and constituents to use public transportation when they have business at the office.

“As we work to meet the current and future infrastructure needs of our office, this acquisition is a great first step in that planning process,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said in prepared statement.

“Prosecuting crime and handling the county’s civil cases will always be the district attorney’s job," McAdams added, "so we’ll always need work space for them. I’m very pleased that this solution meets that need in a fiscally responsible way.”

Email: marjorie@deseretnews.com

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