The EnergySolutions Art, Culture and Science Center has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
No? How about The Franklin Covey Leonardo?
OK, it's unlikely that either Salt Lake City stadium sponsor will attach its name to the financially challenged future tenant of the old downtown library, but city officials aren't ruling anything out.
Mayor Ralph Becker's office, city officials and representatives of The Leonardo have developed a plan to close the funding gap to renovate the building on the corner of 500 South and 200 East, and it includes selling the naming rights for a target price of $5 million to $8 million.
A philanthropist willing to donate a sizable sum to have his or her name on the building in conjunction with the museum such as The Leonardo at the Donor's Name Here Center would be city and museum officials' preference, but corporate sponsorship also is a possibility.
Becker joined city staff and The Leonardo officials in presenting the project scope and funding plan Tuesday night to the Salt Lake City Council, providing three courses of action that require $3.1 million, $5.5 million or $8.3 million in additional funding.
By a 5-2 straw-poll vote, the City Council voiced support for the $5.5 million option, which reduces the level of renovation to the building from what was originally proposed. If The Leonardo wants a complete renovation of the building, it would need to raise the additional $2.8 million.
"I really believe in how neat this project is," first-year councilman JT Martin said, "but I also knows that cool doesn't pay the bills."
The city already has committed $13.6 million to The Leonardo, including a $10.2 million general-obligation bond approved by Salt Lake City voters in 2003. The bond carried with it a requirement that the museum find a matching $10 million in outside donations for programming, which museum officials say has been secured.
The new scope and funding plan puts The Leonardo's price tag at $19.1 million.
Martin expressed doubt that the city would be able to get the $5 million to $8 million for naming rights.
"The only way I see this happening is it's got to be a gift," Martin said. "I think we're being very optimistic to think we can get $5 million."
Councilman Carlton Christensen agreed, saying "naming rights are hard to come by."
"There's a reason the E Center (in West Valley City) is still the E Center," Christensen said.
A deadline for naming rights to be secured is set for June 1.
The plan also calls for the city to create a Community Development Area, which would allow the city to return property taxes to the project.
Other funding options presented Tuesday included seeking contributions from Salt Lake County and the state, tax credits, federal appropriation and, as a last resort, the sale of surplus property.
Acting in their capacity as the city's Redevelopment Agency board of directors earlier Tuesday, the City Council unanimously granted The Leonardo a third extension to raise the $1.5 million needed to meet the terms of a $750,000 grant from the RDA.
The board approved the grant in June 2006 with the stipulation that The Leonardo obtain at least twice the amount to go toward seismic upgrades. The deadline to secure the funding expired in December 2006. The latest extension gives The Leonardo until Aug. 21 to raise the money.
In other City Council business:
* Convened as the RDA board earlier Tuesday, City Council members listened to a presentation by The Summit Group Inc., which wants to purchase RDA property at 233 S. 600 West to use as part of a hotel project.
Combined with other property in the process of being acquired by The Summit Group, the RDA parcel would give the developers 3.5 acres on the northeast corner of 600 West and 300 South, where they hope to build two five-story hotels with approximately 30,000 square fee of retail space.
The proposal calls for one hotel to offer standard services with 180 rooms, with the other providing 120 rooms for extended-stay customers. The project also would include 264 ground- and second-level parking spaces.Contaminated soil and underground water necessitate that the parking be above ground, developers said.
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