The Mormon Church Backs Mixed-Use Project

City Creek Center is a $1 billion mixed-use development project that some say is a godsend for downtown Salt Lake City, creating jobs during a tough economy. Others wonder how the church's influence will play out in the culture of the project.

Downtown Salt Lake City has few residents, so the 700-unit development (being built on property right next to the central temple) will make a significant impact. A spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says that the development will not be church-focused, and it is possible that alcohol (forbidden in the Church) will be allowed there. Both sides assume that the apartments may appeal most to members of the Church because of their nearness to the temple.

Kirk Johnson reports, "One former Salt Lake City planning official, Stephen A. Goldsmith, who is not a Mormon, said he was thrilled by the thought of people moving back downtown, but feared that the church's economic concentration would lead to a 'Vaticanization' of the area.

'The concern is about having just one owner own so much of the heart of the capital city,' said Mr. Goldsmith, who was director of city planning from 2000 to 2002 and is now an associate professor of architecture and planning at the University of Utah."

Thanks to Rob Bregoff

Full Story: Huge Church Project Renews Downtown, and Debate

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