Mar. 28, 2012

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Jeff Edwards President's Message
June 6: Save the Date!

June isn't far away and so we hope you will mark your calendars now and plan to participate in EDCUtah's annual Golf for Grants Tournament June 6. The tournament will be held at Eaglewood Golf Course with a shotgun start. As you know, the mission of our tournament is to benefit the EDCUtah Community Match Grant Program, which provides matching funds for local communities and organizations to use for economic development purposes. We will update you on the success of the Community Match Grants program in a future issue of this newsletter.

We deeply appreciate Price Realty Group for its commitment to the tournament. Price Realty Group has once again signed on as our Platinum Tournament Title Sponsor. If your organization is interested in helping to sponsor this worthwhile event, please contact Art Franks, our director of membership development, via emai (afranks@edcutah.org) or phone (801) 323-4242. Currently, we have two Gold Hole Sponsorships, 15 Silver Hole Sponsorships and a limited number of Team Sponsorships available.

Today's Economic Review also includes links to many of the ED-related news stories from the past week. As always, if you have comments, suggestions or topics you'd like to see in the Economic Review, please contact us by clicking the "Comments" link on the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards
President and CEO

Feature Story
Salt Lake City's Downtown Renaissance: City Creek Center a Magnet for Jobs, Businesses

After the 2002 Winter Olympics, much of the retail space on Salt Lake City's historic Main Street was vacant and downtown's two major malls -- the ZCMI Center and Crossroads Mall -- were bleeding businesses. The environment in the central business district was anything but vibrant.

The opening of The Gateway retail development in 2001 brought in approximately 80 new retailers, but perhaps it also exaggerated Main Street's decline by shifting the center of retail several blocks away from the city's central core.

Then came City Creek. The two malls, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, were razed and the massive $1.5 billion City Creek Center, a mixed-use development that includes a 700,000 square-foot retail center, offices, condos and apartments on 23 acres, was constructed in the center of the city.

4,000 Jobs
During its four-year construction, the City Creek development created approximately 4,000 jobs -- many of them at a time when Utah's construction industry was in turmoil, having been decimated by the global economic recession. Indeed, City Creek provided significant work for three major Utah construction companies: Jacobsen Construction (EDCUtah investor), Big D Construction (EDCUtah investor) and Okland Construction. It also provided work for numerous architects, engineers, consultants and others in peripheral businesses, all at a time when local, state and national economies were imploding.

Last week, amidst great fanfare and publicity, City Creek Center (dubbed the "Mormon mega-mall" by BusinessWeek) officially opened, but when the development was announced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 2006 it drew both skepticism and elation. Nonetheless, its construction was just the recipe for a renaissance of Salt Lake's central core and the fiscal impacts may well be enormous, especially considering that Taubman Centers, which owns the retail portion of City Creek, projects 16 million visits to the Center annually. Based upon such visits, some estimates place retail sales volume at City Creek's 100 stores and restaurants to be approximately $250 million to $300 million annually. Such retail sales will be a boon to Salt Lake City's budget, as the city's portion of sales taxes could be well over $1 million annually.

Jeweler Tiffany & Co. -- one of numerous new-to-Utah stores located in City Creek Center -- purchases much of its silver and gold from Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.'s Bingham Canyon Mine.

Spillover Effect
Retailers within City Creek employ approximately 2,000 workers; another 6,000 people work in office buildings around the development. Additional jobs are being created downtown thanks to what Bob Farrington, economic development director for the City of Salt Lake, describes as City Creek's "spillover effect." For example, 26 non-City Creek businesses opened their doors in the Central Business District in 2010. Another 20 new business opened their doors in 2011.

Businesses that have opened downtown since the beginning of 2012 include:

  • Pallet, a contemporary American bistro, opened in February at 237 W. 400 South, next to The Rose Est. coffee shop.
  • Harmon's grocery store opened in February on the corner of State Street and 100 South.
  • Ray's Barber Shop opened a second location at 154 S. Main in early March.
  • 10,000 Villages, a shop featuring fair-trade products from 130 artisan groups in 38 countries, opened in February at 120 S. Main in the former Downtown Rising office.
  • Café Metro, a coffee shop and café, opened in January in the lower level of the Metro Condos at 350 S. 200 East.
  • Roula's Café moved from the old Questar building into the former T's Grill location within the lobby of the Ken Garff building on the corner of 400 S. Main.
  • Plum Alley, a new Asian-inspired restaurant by the owner of Copper Onion, opened in January in the former Sicilia Pizza location, 221 E. Broadway.
  • Pebbles & Twiggs, a furniture consignment store, opened in January in the former Zim's location, 150 S. State Street.

Soon to Open
Other businesses soon to open downtown include:

  • Manhattan Finds, an upscale consignment shop, in the former Souvenir Stop location at 149 S. Main Street.
  • Eborn Books is moving to the former Sam Weller's location at 254 S. Main (Coffee Garden is staying).
  • Shapiro Luggage is moving back downtown into the US Bank building at 170 S. Main.
  • Questar is moving its operations into a new building at 333 S. State.
  • Mountain America Credit Union is opening an office on the retail level of the new Questar Building.
  • Word on the street has it that Wingers restaurant will also open on the retail level of the new Questar building this spring.
  • JMR Chalk Garden is renovating the Crandall Building on the corner of 100 S. Main and plans to open early in April in the former See's Candy space.
  • Starbucks is also moving into Crandall Building and will open this spring.
  • Grilla Bites, a shop that serves natural and organic soups, salads and sandwiches, will open on Gallivan Avenue this spring.
  • Bangkok Terrace, a Thai restaurant, will also open on Gallivan Avenue this spring.
  • Co2 Café will open mid-summer in the former Deseret Lounge space at 323 South Main Street.

Farrington says the retail spaces in the front of the Utah Theatre on Main Street are now full. And while a few businesses transitioned from The Gateway to City Creek, The Gateway is adding new businesses as well. Businesses that have opened recently in The Gateway include:

  • Bettie Page
  • Epic Board Shop
  • Francesca's Collection
  • G-Star Raw
  • Costa Vida
  • Wing Nutz

"It's a great time to be downtown," Farrington adds.

Word on the Street
In other developments, according to word on the street, the Tribune Building, which is owned by InterNet Properties, Inc. (an EDCUtah investor), may be redeveloped and the announcement of a major technology tenant may be forthcoming.

And now that City Creek is complete, local leaders hope that plans for a downtown convention hotel move forward. Farrington says a convention hotel would be a complimentary development to City Creek. Further, the construction of such a convention hotel could create approximately 4,270 jobs and generate approximately $214 million in earnings, according to a Salt Lake County estimate.

The City Creek Center has other peripheral benefits: for shoppers, downtown retailers and businesses, the 5,000 subterranean parking stalls under the Center free up street-level parking on the adjacent blocks for other users and buildings. Further, the Center is expected to be a big boon to Salt Lake City's convention and visitor business, since most visitors, be they tourists, business travelers, or convention attendees, are also shoppers. Salt Lake City's downtown ecosystem now offers an enhanced visitor experience with world-class shopping.

Kennecott Gold
One interesting economic twist: the Deseret News recently reported that customers of high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co. -- one of numerous new-to-Utah stores located in City Creek Center -- are likely buying gold and silver mined in Utah at Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.'s Bingham Canyon Mine. (EDCUtah investor Rio Tinto owns Kennecott.)

According to the Deseret News story, the mine produces approximately 3-5 million ounces of silver a year and 300,000 to 500,000 ounces of gold. Tiffany & Co. "purchased about half of all of the silver mined at Bingham last year and around 5 percent of gold mined at the facility."


Mar. 28
EDCUtah Quarterly Investor Update Meeting and Reception, 4-6 p.m. (Regence BlueCross BlueSheild of Utah, 2890 E. Cottonwood Parkway, Salt Lake City) RSVP to Eileen Burt (801) 323-4249 or email eburt@edcutah.org

Mar. 29
North Temple Developer's Conference (Utah State Fairpark - Grand Hall)

Mar. 29-30
2nd Annual Principle-Centered Leadership Conference (Eccles Conference Center, USU, Logan)

April 5
Utah Alliance for Economic Development Spring Meeting (The Gallivan Center, Salt Lake City)

April 5
Governor's State of Sport Awards Luncheon, celebrating Utah's sports industry (EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City)

April 10
The Governor's Utah Economic Summit (Grand America Hotel)

Apr. 11-13
Utah League of Cities and Towns Mid-Year Conference (St. George)

Apr. 19
USTAR Dedication Ceremony 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (James L Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building - 36 S Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake City)

April 21-25
Industrial Asset Management Council (Austin, TX)

April 26
Milford Renewable Energy Fair (Milford, UT)

May 20-23
ICSC RECon Tradeshow (Las Vegas, NV)

May 21-24
SAMPE Tradeshow (Baltimore, MD)

June 6
EDCUtah Golf for Grants Tournament (Eaglewood Golf Course)

Oct. 16-19
Technology Venture Development Executive Education Seminar (University of Utah)

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The EDCUtah Economic Review is a weekly publication of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. It is distributed to EDCUtah partners and selected other government and civic organizations interested in Utah's economic development.

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Newsletter Archive


In the News

Salt Lake City's Lure
Amid reports that Goldman Sachs may be cutting more jobs on Wall Street, it's worth noting one spot where the investment bank plans to hire hundreds of people: Salt Lake City.

Analysis ranks Utah No. 2 in job growth
A research professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University ranked Utah second in the nation for job growth from January 2011 to January 2012.

Utah ranks 8th in 'Best Places to Live'
MoneyRates.com takes a state-by-state look at the best places to live and ranks Utah 8th.

Heber City named 5th fastest-growing small town in America
Forbes Magazine ranked Heber City No. 5 on its list of America's fastest-growing small towns. Heber's population rose 14.6 percent to 23,530 between 2007 and 2010, and residents have a median income of $65,204.
(Utah Pulse)

Energize Your Business at the Governor's Economic Summit
While attending the Governor's Utah Economic Summit a year ago, I was again reminded of what a great place Utah is for doing business.
(Utah Pulse)

Utah board approves $2.7M incentive for software center
The Governor's Office of Economic Development board of directors approved two incentives on Thursday.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Taylorsville hires state lawmaker to boost economic development
In his State of the City address last month, Mayor Russ Wall said investing in the business community would be a priority.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

SLC marks triumphant opening of City Creek Center
After years of anticipation, downtown Salt Lake City's newest crown jewel of shopping and economic development opened to the world Thursday with the parting of its signature retractable roof inviting in sunshine, shoppers and the just plain curious.
(Deseret News)

Happy day' for business next to City Creek
For the past five years, he's had the block more or less all to himself. Just his restaurant and the bar and the sushi place downstairs.
(Deseret News)

Thousands fill Utah's City Creek Center for opening (video)
An estimated 50,000 people descended on City Creek Center Thursday for the long-awaited debut of a new retailing experience that many hope will spark a renaissance for downtown Salt Lake City area.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Downtown Rising anniversary ushers in City Creek Center
Today we mark the fifth anniversary of the Downtown Rising vision. The plan we shared that day quickly became a movement and has since resulted in an unprecedented and unsurpassed renovation of our capital city.
(Utah Pulse)

Tiffany ready to sparkle at Utah's City Creek
Whether it's a $186,500 diamond ring or a $65 leather bookmark, Tiffany & Co.'s new Salt Lake City store has something for everyone who can afford at least a bit of luxury.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

50,000 expected for opening of City Creek Center
To say traffic in downtown Salt Lake City is expected to be heavy Thursday and the next few days after is putting it lightly.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

City Creek Center
First there were debates over plans and such issues as a controversial sky bridge. Then there were scenes of a tower imploding and giant machines eating out the innards of buildings that had occupied both sides of the first block of Main Street for decades.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Changing skyline sends message of Salt Lake City's vibrancy
It's often the first thing people notice when flying into a big city: the skyline. Seattle, San Francisco and New York each has a different skyline and each reflects a personality of sorts.
(Deseret News)

City Creek Center driving economic revival for downtown Salt Lake City
City Creek Center opens next week and is estimated to generate $1 million in new sales tax revenue. But that direct financial impact is only part of the story of this years-in-the-making project to revitalize the downtown district.
(Deseret News)

LDS Presiding Bishop H. David Burton says part of City Creek project goal has been met
The Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said one of the main goals of the City Creek project has already been met.
(Deseret News)

City Creek Center: Will all of downtown Salt Lake City benefit?
Hopes are high that City Creek Center will usher in a new, livelier era for downtown -- something like the glory days of the 1950s.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Taubman opens mall in Utah
Taubman Centers introduced Salt Lake City to luxury retail on Thursday as it opened City Creek Center, which is part of a $1.5-billion mixed-use development on 23 acres downtown.
(Detroit Free Press)

Omaha-based department store chain makes big push into Utah
Gordmans, a low-price retailer, is set to open a department store in The District shopping center in South Jordan on Friday as part of a move into the Intermountain West.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

In Utah speech, Twitter cofounder says digital use is evolving
The co-founder of Twitter told a Salt Lake City audience Thursday that social media can be used to make people smarter but users are still evolving their "digital selves," particularly on issues of personal privacy.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Ogden council hopes to boost small businesses with 'loan loss' program
The city council adopted a resolution Tuesday night that officials say will provide a boost to new small-business owners.

February resort bookings rose with snow's arrival
At long last, winter's belated arrival helped lift bookings out of the doldrums at mountain resorts in Utah and other Western states.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Thanks to the rich, Park City's economy has outperformed elsewhere
The economies in mountain resorts like Park City and Jackson, Wyo., are outpacing many other places in the U.S., thanks to their status as spots that attract the rich.
(Park Record)

Orem company revolutionizing winter sports
Despite the constant flow of traffic nearby, the Revolution Manufacturing factory in northwest Orem has long been shrouded in mystery.
(Daily Herald)

Convention center opening key in overall downtown Provo development
Planning and serendipity are each playing significant roles in the downtown revitalization effort here that takes a big step forward with the May 12 launch of the Utah Valley Convention Center.
(Deseret News)

Pac-12 football boosting Utah economy, report says
A study commissioned by the University of Utah has concluded the school's first football season in the Pac-12 paid dividends to the state in terms of measurable economic impact.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Chamber launches program to help businesses become clean air champions
The Salt Lake Chamber is launching a program to help Utah businesses enhance their commitment to clean air and benefit their bottom lines.
(Utah Pulse)

2012 Utah Legislature highlights for businesses
After 45 days, the legislative session has come and gone and in its wake Utah businesses must decipher the most important points from the hundreds of bills passed, blocked, introduced and circled this year.
(Park Record)

Clearfield puts out the 'Open' sign
Clearfield is trying to send the message that it's open for business.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah's Nelson Laboratories poised for growth
Nelson Laboratories said it has acquired a new building adjacent to its current facilities that will accommodate its need for future expansion.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah Valley to host Utah Tourism Conference
Online registration is now open for the 9th Annual Utah Tourism Conference that will be held at the new Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo from May 15-17, 2012.
(Utah Pulse)

Utah February jobless rate steady at 5.7 percent
Officials say Utah's unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 percent in February, while the job count was 2.5 percent higher than a year ago.

A hop, skip and a jump from Austin to Park City: How to take advantage of the last month of spring skiing
I am not a skier. So why am I raving about Park City, Utah, a premier ski destination?

Utah may start health insurance co-op
Where some saw doom in federal health reform, Shaun Greene saw a business opportunity. Two years ago in March, after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, the insurance executive sat down and read it, all 974 pages. Captivated by a little-known provision for health insurance cooperatives, he convinced a powerhouse group of industry leaders to start one in Utah.
(Salt Lake Tribune)