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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Kathy Hale and Kris Sorensen talk while sitting in one of the new booths in the children's area of the food court as The Shops at South Town in Sandy unveils its new look on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017.

SANDY — After more than 30 years with the same look, the south valley’s largest indoor retail mall has received a major makeover.

On Tuesday, the Shops at South Town officially unveiled the newly renovated, 1.3 million-square-foot shopping center that incorporates many first-in-Utah features aimed at providing visitors a state-of-the-art, family-oriented, interactive experience. The upgraded interior renovation includes a giant touch screen children’s play wall, interactive digital directories and a large multimedia display.

The digital elements are the first of their kind in Utah, said marketing and business development manager Heather Nash.

She said other renovations include an expanded children's play area, an enlarged dining court, new flooring, enhanced wood-accented interior designs, redesigned restrooms, as well as exterior upgrades with an expanded outdoor terrace and seating areas. The old, traditional roof and ceiling have been replaced with wood beams and multiple skylights that allow lots of light to shine in during the daytime, she said.

Also, new entrances were designed to offer scenic views of the picturesque granite peaks outside, she added.

“It’s 'mountain modern.' We’ve really brought a sense of the outside (to the) inside,” Nash explained. “Whereas we’re a mall with a roof, you can shop any time of year and be warm and dry, and still have the feel that you’re sitting outside.”

The food court has undergone one of the most drastic revamps.

“The dining terrace is where the biggest change was made because we opened it up and allowed more seating, and we also added some electronic media,” she said. Among the new elements is a 13-foot by 6-foot, ultrahigh-resolution interactive play wall for children that features unique gaming options, including a custom-developed emoji game that can be played by multiple people. There is also a large multimedia wall display that will feature movies, sporting events and other entertainment options.

Throughout the center are six free-standing digital touch screen directories that also display real-time deals from retailers, as well as capabilities for social interaction, selfie photos and mobile app functionality, she noted.

Located at 10450 S. State, the Shops at South Town include a 966,000-square-foot, two-story indoor shopping mall with retail stores and restaurants, as well as an adjacent 312,000-square-foot outdoor retail property called Marketplace anchored by a Target Supercenter.

Nash said the center is in a continuous process of completing leasing, restaurant and entertainment plans for the long-term future of the property.

The redevelopment of the Shops at South Town is part of the Cairns, Sandy’s 1,100-acre city center “mountain meets urban” project. A cairn is a man-made pile of stones indicating someone is headed in the right direction.

The project from 9000 South to 11400 South and I-15 to near State Street will connect mountain adventures with urban living. The Cairns will also feature new apartments along with condominiums, restaurants, office space and new retail space, in addition to the $25 million mall renovation.

In the meantime, Nash said management hopes to continue to make the changes to provide customers with a positive retail experience.

“Our job is to create those (feelings), and that includes shopping, dining and entertainment,” she said. “It’s our job to create a gathering space where people can come and feel comfortable.”