The company that brought you the Gateway mall is one of two groups selected by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake to develop a portion of the Station Center project in the southwest corner of downtown.
Acting as the Board of Directors for the RDA, the City Council unanimously approved exclusive negotiation agreements with The Boyer Company and Cowboy Partners for a two-acre parcel on 600 West and with Land Forge + Community Studio for the Serta Mattress Building renovation on Market Street.
Both companies submitted qualifications as part of the initial request for qualifications (RFQ) phase. Six developers officially expressed interest in developing the five parcels that will make up the first phase of the Station Center project. Of the six bidders, four were shortlisted including; Garbett Homes, Axis Development with the City selecting the other two, The Boyer Company/Cowboy Partners and Land Forge + Community Studios, for negotiation agreements.
The Boyer Company will collaborate with Cowboy Partners to develop a mixed-use project on parcel one, the largest of the five parcels. The two acre parcel is at the northeast corner of the 600 W. 300 South intersection. The City is seeking a project with mix of residential and commercial. After the negotiation agreement is finalized, Boyer will need to again go before the RDA for a site design review.
The Boyer Company previously partnered with the RDA to build the Gateway mall. Since it was built, the three-block mixed-use project has been criticized for the quality of materials used and monolithic design.
The mall has struggled to keep tenants since the City Creek Center opened in 2012 a few blocks east. Several tenant’s 10-year leases expired around the same time the City Creek Center opened, making it easier for Gateway tenants to jump ship. In December 2014 report, U.S. credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service listed the Gateway as troubled. Sales at the Gateway have dropped by 50 percent since 2011.
The RDA took a different approach with Station Center project by dividing up the project area into different parcels that each require a separate bid. As with the Gateway, Station Center occupies multiple city blocks. Having different developers will hopefully ensure a building diversity needed to the project feel like a neighborhood and not a mall.
The negotiation agreements will go until the end of the year. The RDA will vote on the final sale terms early in 2016, with construction possible for spring 2016.
A request for proposals (RFP) will be released for the remaining three parcels in the fall. The Board will vote on a RFP termsheet in August.