Plans for Cottonwood Mall leap forward

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  • Great deal.
    Jan. 17, 2008 9:12 a.m.

    Owning a home a block north of the redevelopment site, I couldn't be happier that this is getting done.
    A bad deal for Granite would have been sitting on an empty mall the next 10 years. The building site has many difficulties being that it is in a massive flood plain.
    I guess living in Utah, a lot of people around here are the definition of jumping over a dollar to grab a penny.
    Bypassing this project would have been the definition of jumping over a dollar to grab a penny. I think people struggle with math out here.

  • OK Pat
    Jan. 16, 2008 8:36 p.m.

    Let's just leave it the way it is...or build something smaller. Oh I know, another Wal Mart. That should do well in Holladay.

    There is NO POWER GIVE AWAY! Please do not speak of things you don't know. Get informed!

  • MINNIE
    Jan. 16, 2008 7:11 p.m.

    Sounds like a lot of "secret combinations" going on here!!

  • Pat
    Jan. 16, 2008 6:21 p.m.

    I had no idea the Granite School District had so much power to give away $50 million.

    In the next ten years, until the Mall starts giving back all these big bucks, the taxpayers in Granite District should not be asked for any additional tax money.

    Apparently, the District has money to burn!!!

    Word "burn" reminds me how the District decided to rebuild Wasatch after the fire. Property could have been sold for enough to build three new schools somewhere else. The property alone could have been sold for mega bucks. Besides, there wasn't actually even a need in that area for another Jr. High.

    I don't think our school or State money should be used for any commercial endeavor, including REAL.

  • outside observer
    Jan. 16, 2008 4:38 p.m.

    Funny that SL County supports this project for GGP, but won't support SAME concept with much less at stake for soccer stadium. RSL chose not to ask the Jordan District to give up money, instead wanting 100% of their tax portion staying in the schools. SO, county and Corroon make a stand against Dave Checketts because it is popular, but give this less noticed developer $20 million. I dont disagree with the decision, but I certainly doubt his honesty and integrity.

  • Steve - Re: Alvin
    Jan. 16, 2008 4:38 p.m.

    The new East side school district (in progress now) is split from Jordan NOT Granite. People within Granite District's boundries aren't effected or part of it. The City of Holladay isn't part of it either, it's their neighbor to the south (Cottonwood Heights and others) that are.

    About Cottonwood Mall, though I've always prefered Fashion Place I have fond memories from childhood of Cottonwood as well... I'll miss it. It's a shame it turned into the ghost town it became in the end. What's being built in it's place is something totally new and different and should be a very nice addition to the area.

  • to John
    Jan. 16, 2008 4:30 p.m.

    Jordan School distric is in the home construction businness, why should not Granite be in the mall business? Check out the housing units being built by Jordan School district on 13th west and about 110 south just in front of South Jordan Elemantry school.

  • Alvin
    Jan. 16, 2008 3:47 p.m.

    The Granite School District board placated the east side by rebuilding an un-needed Wasatch Junior High School. Now they are pandering to them again on the Cottonwood Mall. What happens when the east side splits off into a new school district? For once do something that is best for the whole district.

  • What happens
    Jan. 16, 2008 2:39 p.m.

    I'm just asking. Malls fail.

  • to: what happens
    Jan. 16, 2008 2:31 p.m.

    Of course the mall will be there in 20 years. I have three children in the Granite School District from 1st grade to 9th grade...so I'm in this for the long haul. I have been to the meetings, I've done the research and this is going to benefit EVERYONE who has kids in the GSD now and in the future. And...those who do not.
    I would imagine that a huge percentage of the posts here have not done research beyond today's paper. I was at the meeting last night...were you?

  • What happens
    Jan. 16, 2008 2:15 p.m.

    What happens if the mall isn't there in 20 years?

  • @ Corrections...
    Jan. 16, 2008 12:40 p.m.

    You're the one who's mistaken...check the Holladay Chamber of Commerce official statement, his numbers were correct.

  • slclifer
    Jan. 16, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    so much for family values in Utah. This is terrible. I am very dissapointed in the Board. This is terrible choice.

  • To John...
    Jan. 16, 2008 12:29 p.m.

    You're still not getting it, pal...NO ONE IS WRITING A CHECK, DIVERTING FUNDS, or OTHERWISE! This is simply GSD saying to the developer: "You can pay 22% of your property tax bill for 20 years, which STILL brings us in more money than if you didn't develop. At the end of 20 years, though, we want the full 4 MILLION tax bill." It's not access to "insider information", it's doing one's homework. There are several sites dedicated to informing the public on this issue, TRY ONE! EVERYONE in GSD and Holladay stands to gain from this project. The only one spewing the BS here is you!

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 16, 2008 12:27 p.m.

    We need a Neiman Marcus or a Bloomingdales

  • Corrections to previous stuff
    Jan. 16, 2008 12:10 p.m.

    To: "Thanks 8:07"

    No, the district's tax revenue do not go up to $900,000. It does increase from $137,000 to $172,000 immediately, though.

    Then, as the property's taxes increase, the district get's an additional 25% of the increase. After 20 years, the district gets its full share of the new taxes on the completed project. It is NOT $4 million; closer to $2.1 million.

    The hand-wringing by some district officials is that over the 20-year RDA's life, because of the increase in the property's value the district will forgo collecting $52 million in FUTURE tax dollars, until the 20 years is up.

    No doubt, without Granite's participation, this developer would back out and some other developer would create a less lucrative project.

  • Welcome to Education
    Jan. 16, 2008 12:08 p.m.

    For those of you trying to present your logical side of the argument to just have it totally ignored in the next couple of reponse (meaning they did not read much if anything you wrote). I would like to introduce you to some of the parents of students we try to educate. Good examples for the need for breeding licensure amoungst homosapiens.

  • Renee
    Jan. 16, 2008 12:03 p.m.

    I would like to see the plans for the "village."

  • John
    Jan. 16, 2008 12:01 p.m.

    Looks like there may be one (or more) very strong proponents of this boondoggle writing comments that seem to have access to insider information.

    Maybe the Deseret Morning News reporters could track down where they are posting from.

    My bet is that the educrats (or the RDA folks) are trying to BS the public every way they can to slip this deal through before anyone starts asking why a school district is even allowed to commit SCHOOL money to "investment" schemes.

    Thay are doing it to harvest the free money that just grows on trees? Sorry, I don't buy that one.

    Who would be fronting that $52M if the school district did not? Why are they passing up this good deal? Is ANYONE connected with Granite School District benefitting in ANY way from this deal, directly or indirectly, now or in the future?

    This whole deal smells worse than brine shrimp!

  • Ed
    Jan. 16, 2008 11:57 a.m.

    Hello..people...GSD HAD to do this deal or else end up looking at an eastside-westside split, since Cottonwood Heights would have raised holy heck about them (GSD) being the one entity against this deal. Then they (Cottonwood Heights) would have pushed like crazy for another eastside-westside split..and then all of our property taxes would be going up to pay for the split in the district. GSD had no choice...another quid pro quo deal.

  • Rick
    Jan. 16, 2008 11:27 a.m.

    This whole thing is sure confusing. I guess it is best to try to keep a coolhead because there is much more to this than what is seen, but shere are ALL the answers that are non-biased towards one thought or another?

  • Re: @ John
    Jan. 16, 2008 11:22 a.m.

    @ John - what happens if the new project is a bust? How much will the GSD get back? GSD should not divert a single cent to this project, certainly not when Utah schools rank 49th in the nation!

  • grewupthere
    Jan. 16, 2008 11:17 a.m.

    I grew up in that area and have seen it turn into a small ghetto. Kudos for everyone and anyone to develop it and make it more accomodating for all the neighboring residents. Businesses bring in people, and people fill schools. Excellent endeavor.

  • @ John
    Jan. 16, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    Don't blame Granite School Board...the State Legislature forces the school boards to vote on RDA's, so blame them. Man, people love to comment on things they know so very little about. This is a good thing for Holladay, a good thing for GSD, and I defy anyone to prove to me how either lose a single cent with this approval. GET INFORMED, and only then whine! Try me!

  • Frankie
    Jan. 16, 2008 10:57 a.m.

    This sounds cool and a good fit for that area. I'm not down with corporate wellfare. However, if the government is paying for infrastructure such as streets, that sounds like it may be fair to me. We all paid for our houses, but we did not pay for the streets we live on.

  • Spike
    Jan. 16, 2008 10:39 a.m.

    If Granite School District has all this extra money sitting around buring a hole in their pockets (especially after buying the old hospital and turning into their newly upgraded offices), why aren't they spending it on an upgraded education for our kids now?

  • Alwayzwrite
    Jan. 16, 2008 10:31 a.m.

    The Cottonwood Mall area is a lowly and depressed area. Even $70 mil will not boost this area. My goodness, there are residences in California worth more than $70 mil.

  • Get the facts
    Jan. 16, 2008 10:03 a.m.

    Read the information available on how this RDA actually works and increases money going to schools by bringing in over a half billion dollars into our state.

    www dot cityofholladay dot com - Cottonwood Mall section on the left menu.

  • Bob
    Jan. 16, 2008 9:52 a.m.

    The RDA is a commercial scheme to steal money from the taxpayers. It was used in downtown SLC and other places. The idea is to redirect tax money from its proper place to the construction of private projects. This is a definately a Conservative Republican thing.

  • Thanks and Way to Go Are Right
    Jan. 16, 2008 9:36 a.m.

    If the project goes off as planned there will be a huge advantage. In the meantime, the district will still get more than it is getting now for a 20-year period. Like four times more each year.
    Where were all the naysayers when the board met? More than 200 people attended the meeting and only two spoke against the project -- one of them being with the Utah Taxpayers Assn. -- and his remarks were comical. The other was a gentleman who opposes the principle of tax increment funding. He presented his opinion in a most impressive manner.

  • John
    Jan. 16, 2008 9:27 a.m.

    WHAT THE HECK????
    Granite School DIstrict is in the mall development business?

    I thought they were supposed to be teaching kids to read and write, and that schools are all begging for money.

    I guess I was wrong, they have $52M laying around [forcibly taken from us TAXPAYERS!] to "invest" in some Ponzi scheme that may pay more someday?

    This is WRONG on so many levels!

    Never, NEVER! again tell me our schools need more money!

    VOTE AGAINST EVERY POLITICIAN WHO SUPPORTS THIS NONSENSE!

  • Ray
    Jan. 16, 2008 9:26 a.m.

    I don't get it. With this money now going to build the 'mall', where will future funding in the next few years for additional schools, teachers salaries, needed county improvements, etc, come from-- a tax increase perhaps? It seems we are mortgaging our future now to pay for the REAL and now a mall.

  • Way to go GSD Board!
    Jan. 16, 2008 9:18 a.m.

    Wow, some public officials with vision and foresight, what a concept!! I agree with Anon 807 and Thanks 807 - people are so quick to jump to conclusions that they don't see the benefit to this vote.

    GSD doesn't write a check to anyone, and they aren't "gambling" with the kids' money (as Van Tassell from the Taxpayers Assoc said last night). If anything, the gamble would be for the Board to have voted no in hopes of luring another developer in without the RDA status. And ooh boy - then we could watch the mall sit vacant for another 2-3 years and watch the traffic at Macy's and TGIF totally dry up - wouldn't that be the way to go?!

    Here's a story problem for all you well-educated "tax advocates": do I want $171k (and shrinking) to spend on our kids, or do I want to give them $900k/year now and $4 MILLION+ in a few years? Hmmm - let me think about that one...

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 16, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    Jaded, the RSL money was from the TRT, Transient Room Tax. This is payed by visitors to the hotels in the county.

    The main problem the county had with it was that the hotels that were "funding" the stadium are all in Downtown SLC and the stadium is in Sandy where the "funding source" will not see an impact.

    If the stadium would have been allowed to be in Downtown SLC like originally planed prior to Curtis stepping in and trying to take the glory, the County wouldn't have had a problem with it.

    This story is about the Cottonwood Mall redevelopment. Which will not take money away from the school district but will rather give them more.

  • Re: SLC gal
    Jan. 16, 2008 9:05 a.m.

    Would love the Venetian. Don't know if the gondolas in the winter would be very fun. I can only imagine the high school kids pushing them playing accordians in frozen ponds and snowing.

    In all seriousness, it isn't a bad idea to theme it. I think a great mall is to take it one step further and completely replicate Venice with the square, Il Doge's palace, St. Peters Shoppilica, the Bridge of Sighs (could be a cool location for books or computer stuff or Spencers gifts) and the Rialto bridge. I would shop there.

  • SLC gal
    Jan. 16, 2008 8:57 a.m.

    Anyone else imagining "The Ventitain" in Vegas???

  • Jaded
    Jan. 16, 2008 8:43 a.m.

    How ironic. Salt Lake County officials fight giving RDA funds to the Real Salt Lake Stadium, even though the team pledge not to take any RDA funds from schools. Now they're happy to throw 20 million into a developers pocket with no questions asked. Where's the economic viability study? Where's the press conference raking the owner through the coals? Now we know the the RSL stand at the county was nothing more than politics.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 16, 2008 8:40 a.m.

    I think this sounds like a wonderful project that will enhance Holladay and bring much needed revenue. I just wish they'd also decide something on that big patch of vacant land where Partner's, etc. used to be. What a fiasco that has been. Let's hope the mall project turns out better and we have something besides another blighted area to contend with.

  • Thanks 8:07...
    Jan. 16, 2008 8:39 a.m.

    I'm so tired of people whining that this is "taking" money from the kiddies...do your research...with this approval, the amount of money from the Cottonwood Mall directly to the Granite School district goes from 137,000 to 900,000 instantly. Then, in 20 years, it jumps to 4 Million. This is a win-win for everyone, especially the city of Holladay, who stood to lose their anchor economic base. Give it a rest. Students will not "suffer" unless nothing happens at Cottonwood Mall.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 16, 2008 8:07 a.m.

    Wow, all this angst. The School District isn't losing any money. They are going to keep getting exactly what they are now until construction is complete. Then they will get 25% of what they will get at the end of the 20 year period.

    This 25% is an increase of roughly $700,000 a year more then they are getting now. And at the end of the 20 year period, they will be getting almost $4,000,000 more then they are getting now.

    They aren't losing any money the decision. They are in fact going to be getting more.

    So would all of the people who are upset that the School District voted for this be willing to get more money without losing money?

    This is something that everyone should want the School District to do. Think of the children first. Thankfully, they did.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 16, 2008 7:52 a.m.

    The RSL staduim and now THIS!?!? Where are the priorities?

  • Student - further behind
    Jan. 16, 2008 7:33 a.m.

    How is this a good thing for Granite District schools? Why should students suffer / fund a commercial enterprise?

    It is quite concerning that more residents don't speak up in outrage. Let's take away from the students to give to businesses...

  • Darrel
    Jan. 16, 2008 6:44 a.m.

    Granite is going to contribute money to help a commercial enterprise? I think some ethanol has gotten into the drinking water.

  • This is exciting !
    Jan. 16, 2008 2:07 a.m.

    Peter, please vote Yes...