SatterfieldHelm Management Inc.
Artist's rendering of what Valley Fair Mall is expected to look like after Phase 1 of its renovation. The mall will continue to have J.C. Penney, Mervyns and Macy's as anchor stores. The redevelopment project will also add restaurant and retail space in buildings surrounding the main mall. The project will increase the mall's retail space by about one-third.

Construction crews will break ground today at the Valley Fair Mall, beginning a redevelopment project that will increase retail space by about one-third, spruce up the grounds and upgrade the mall's inside.

West Valley City Mayor Dennis Nordfelt and representatives of Chamber West will be at the groundbreaking, scheduled at 10 a.m. in the west parking lot of the mall, 3601 S. 2700 West.

The mall will continue to have J.C. Penney, Mervyns and Macy's as anchor stores, as well as a Costco that opened in August. The renovated mall also will feature restaurant and retail space in buildings surrounding the main mall, as well as water and plaza features on the edges of the property. The entire renovation will be finished in fall 2010, said Holly Curby, spokeswoman for the mall's owner, Sandy-based Satterfield-Helm Management Inc.

The 38-year-old mall has 700,316 square feet. It will ultimately have 1 million square feet in retail and entertainment space. At first, Satterfield-Helm and its development partner Coventry Financial had planned 200-250 residential units to go with the mall. But those plans were scrapped last year because of high construction costs and worries that developing the housing would delay the project's completion.

While the mall will feature an outdoor component, don't expect the renovations to turn Valley Fair into an outdoor "lifestyle center" like The Gateway, Curby said.

"Ours is keeping the stores inside the mall. Therefore, it's climate and temperature controlled," she said. "Outdoors (at Valley Fair Mall) is more entertainment (on the plaza), your food and your services. Being able to mail off a package or get your dry-cleaning done."

The first phase of the construction begins today on the west end of the parking lot. When complete, the area will feature two pads for sit-down restaurants, three retail buildings and a new Wells Fargo bank with a drive-through window. The bank is currently inside the mall.

The first phase will be finished in October or November, in time for the holiday, Curby said.

Coldwell Banker, which is leasing the space at the mall, has not yet announced any retailers or restaurants, Curby said.

The second phase of construction will be upgrading inside the original mall. That work will begin this fall or in the spring of 2009 and will be completed by the end of 2009.

Inside the mall, Ogden-based R&O Construction will be "creating new stores, remodeling our look of the enclosed mall, but it will stay as an enclosed mall," Curby said.

The third phase of construction will begin in the fall of 2009 and be done by the spring of 2010. More retail space will be added near ballfields on the west edge of the mall.

The fourth phase, an upgrade on the east side of the mall near J.C. Penney, will begin in the spring of 2010 and will be completed by fall of 2010.

Parking will be available for customers during construction.

Valley Fair Mall is one of several Salt Lake Valley retail centers under construction. Others include the downtown City Creek Center by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' real-estate development arm, as well as renovations at Trolley Square, Cottonwood Mall and Fashion Place.