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BTS Investments
Rendering shows proposed Proscenium development.

SANDY — By 2011, developers are hoping to complete the first phase of the Proscenium, a 12-acre mixed-use development located at about 10000 South in Sandy. The projected location is just east of I-15 and southwest of the Sandy City Hall.

The Proscenium, a $500 million brainchild of three partners, is planned to include three office towers with a total of 800,000 square feet of office space, 1.5 million square feet of retail, commercial and residential space, according to information presented to city officials Tuesday.

It will be anchored by a 2,400-seat theater for performing arts with traveling Broadway shows as its primary attraction.

Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan, during a Tuesday night meeting, called the Proscenium a "tremendous addition" to his city.

"It's part of our overall plan to make this a great place to live, to shop, to be entertained and work," Dolan said.

Curtis Wolthius, one of the developers, said the Proscenium's location, next to I-15, is prime for his project.

"This is a project for the whole Wasatch Front," Wolthius said.

The project already has generated some drama.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has begun looking for a location in the capital city to build a 2,500-seat theater.

Though some feel that such a theater only belongs in Salt Lake City, the Proscenium's developers say that a study commissioned by Sandy has concluded a theater could be just as successful in Sandy as in Salt Lake City.

They say that if people want a theater, it will be built faster in Sandy and it will be built with private money.

At this point, everything is still conceptual, though architectural drawings from three architects were available Tuesday night.

The artwork shows three 30-foot towers, an ice rink, children's theater, performing arts school and art walk, which will be framed throughout by proscenium-style arches.

The proscenium was an innovation in Greek theater to better frame performances, and, the developers hope, the Proscenium will give patrons a sense of performing and acting on a creative stage, said Mark Hurst, the project's spokesman.

Discussions are under way with local and national candidates to operate the Broadway theater. The operator would be charged with booking the theater's shows, Wolthius said.

The next step is to formally submit the project plan to the city. Tuesday's meeting was merely to unveil the project to the Sandy City Council and planning commission.

Wolthius said he and his partners with BTS Investments Inc. acquired the land from a California company in early 2007. Planning for the project began a few months later.

BTS studies showed that not only would the market support a Broadway-style theater, but the entire mixed-use development, he said. BTS is still waiting on results of a traffic study.

Sandy recently ordered an independent economic impact study, which the city expects to receive in May.

The city is hosting an open house tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. at Sandy City Hall, located at 10000 Centennial Parkway.

More information is available at www.theprosceniumsandy.com.

E-mail: [email protected]