Thursday, September 24, 2009

South Salt Lake holds off on bond proposal

South Salt Lake holds off on bond proposal

By Rosemary Winters

The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 09/23/2009 10:05:22 PM MDT

South Salt Lake » City officials here are slowing down on a developer's request for a $9.5 million bond to speed development next to the planned Sugar House streetcar.

On Wednesday, the South Salt Lake City Council agreed to wait until an outside consultant, David Wilcox of Market & Feasibility Advisors, can study the proposal. Market Station developer Steve Aste had hoped for a decision by the end of this month.

"It's not acceptable," Aste said after the meeting. "The timelines don't work."

Aste envisions a bustling $500 million housing, shopping and office center along Main Street between 2100 South and 2300 South.

But the project has been delayed a couple of years -- Market Station celebrated a "groundbreaking" in spring 2008 but has had no major construction since then. Aste and his partners have asked the city to issue a $9.5 million bond so that the project can avoid foreclosure on nine-plus acres and buy the Skin Science building on 2100 South.

South Salt Lake Community Development Director Larry Gardner, in a memo to the City Council, said city staff is "not comfortable at this point" in recommending a bond. He noted Wilcox has, initially, expressed "skepticism" about the proposal.

The council agreed to consider the matter at its Oct. 28 meeting.

In other action, the council voted unanimously to pursue a $20,000 to $40,000 structural analysis of the four buildings
at Granite High School. The city, possibly in partnership with Salt Lake County, is interested in acquiring the shuttered, century-old campus for a community center and green space.

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