A slumping economy has Salt Lake City officials nervous about revenue projections for fiscal year 2008-09, particularly as they relate to City Creek Center.
City officials are projecting $6.2 million in revenue from permits, with about $3.8 million of that coming from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' massive downtown project.
Steve Fawcett, the city's acting director of management services, told members of the Salt Lake City Council during a budget work session Tuesday that changes to the estimated $1.5 billion project would greatly alter the city's numbers.
"It's all going to depend on whether they construct certain amenities and buildings," Fawcett said.
Responding to questions from the City Council, Fawcett hinted that changes to plans for the project are more than speculation.
"I don't believe we have enough information to make changes (to revenue projections) at this point," he said. " But it makes me nervous."
Fawcett said he expects to have a conversation soon with City Creek Reserve Inc., a development arm of the LDS Church, about the project and how its plans may be affected by the economy.
In an interview later Tuesday, CCRI spokesman Dale Bills said there's no reason to worry.
"Construction of City Creek Center is moving ahead as planned," Bills said. "We don't anticipate any substantive changes."
City Creek Center is a 20-acre private development project of the LDS Church, meaning no public money is being used. The project is under construction in the three-block area bordered by West Temple, South Temple, 200 East and 100 South.
City planners and elected leaders have praised CCRI throughout the permitting and approval process for working with them and seeking their input. Both the developer and city officials have said the collaboration has made City Creek Center a better project.
"We're really fortunate that (the developers) share with us as much as they do," Fawcett said, "because they really don't have to."
LDS Church officials first unveiled plans to redevelop the former ZCMI Center and Crossroads Mall sites in October 2006. Since then, the plans for the mixed-use development have been refined in many cases to respond to requests of Salt Lake City planners and elected officials.
The developer estimates that City Creek Center will draw about 10 million people to downtown Salt Lake City annually.The most recent timeline has landscapers putting the finishing touches on the development by mid-2012. Portions of the project including parking structures on all three blocks, a Harmons grocery store and a new food court are expected to be complete next year.
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