Officials of the Salt Lake Redevelopment Agency have reached a sticking point in negotiations to buy a parcel for the state to build an office building for the state Department of Economic Security.

The state is considering building the $11 million office tower on Block 53, bound by State Street, Second East and Third and Fourth South streets, a location city officials say is a key to downtown redevelopment.Price/Prowswood Ltd. bought much of Block 53 in 1981 from the RDA under a contract permitting RDA to buy the land back at cost if it remained undeveloped beyond a reasonable length of time.

Price paid $10 per square foot in 1981, but carrying costs have pushed the cost of the land to roughly $21.85 per square foot, too rich for RDA's blood, Executive Director Michael Chitwood told the City Council this week.

The council doubles as the RDA board of directors.

If RDA can buy the land, it will sell roughly 45,000 square feet to the state for the office tower. But right now, Price/Prowswood's asking price is too high.

"If in fact we can't get the land value down, the deal is gone," Chitwood said, stressing, however, that the RDA and Price/Prowswood are still negotiating.