More land on Block 57 in downtown Salt Lake City could come into the domain of the city's Redevelopment Agency if negotiations with a landowner are successful, an RDA official says.
The agency has put $100,000 in earnest money down on an option to buy a 28,600-square-foot parcel at 250 S. State where Herman's World of Sporting Goods now stands, RDA Deputy Director Richard Turpin said."I think its a done deal," said Elliot Wolfe of W & G Co., which owns the land. "We've agreed to sell and they've agreed to buy; it's just a matter of closing the thing up."
The parcel would give the city about one-third of the block, blighted by empty store fronts and now the focus of city redevelopment efforts. The RDA already owns the northeast and southeast corners as well as portions of the southwest corner of the block.
RDA policy encourages the agency to buy land adjacent to land it already owns if the parcels are developable and if the agency has cash on hand, Turpin said.
The RDA owns the Brooks Arcade next door to Herman's. The two store fronts would make a nice parcel open to development on Block 57, Turpin said. Block 57 is bordered by State, Main, Second and Third South streets.
Herman's lease on the property expires in 1991, Wolfe said. Although Herman's has an option to renew the lease, they will not because of the poor state of the deteriorated block, Wolfe said.
Neither Turpin nor Wolfe would discuss the appraised value of the land, but Turpin said the figure would be disclosed after an agreement on a purchase price is reached.
Wolfe is party to a 1985 lawsuit filed against the RDA that says the agency's condemnation policy scared off tenants and contributed to business flight from the block. The 3rd District Court ruled against the RDA, which has appealed the case to the Utah Supreme Court.
The RDA began drafting a master plan for developing the block, but the plan was stalled by a lawsuit brought against the RDA by a Block 57 landowner objecting to the city's redevelopment efforts. "Alternatives are being explored to complete the (master plan) process," Turpin said.