The New York Times cites Utah business and civic leaders, who credit the downtown City Creek Mall development with "spurring new business and enlivening what had been the faded core of Salt Lake City."
Noting that City Creek was financed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Times story quotes Bruce Bingham, a partner with Hamilton Partners, a Chicago-based real estate developer, calling it "the single most important thing to happen in Salt Lake City in 50 years."
“It revitalized downtown," Bingham said.
“The center has added 2,000 jobs and brought more than 16 million visitors into downtown,” according to the Economic Benchmark Report of 2013, paid for by the real estate firm CBRE. The report also credits the mall with helping downtown retail sales increase by 36 percent, or $209 million, in 2012.
The article includes comments from two church members who question the use of church funds to create a business enterprise. But it also quotes Jason Mathis, executive director of Salt Lake City's Downtown Alliance, who says that the church is "not worried about the next quarter. They have a much longer perspective than many other investors would have had. They want to know what the city will look like in the next 50 or 100 years."
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