It seemed like a fairy tail; a 100-year-old building getting a second chance at life and bringing with it a new tax base and hundreds of jobs. In October it was announced the old Granite High School would be developed into a major film and television production studio.
South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood explained, “We were told there was a joint venture between Redman and Woodbury and so we went ahead and held a press conference; that was our understanding."
But a couple months later the $40 million plan began to unravel.
"It wasn't until mid December that we got notice that Redman was unable to secure their financing for the project,” said Wood.
The owner of Salt Lake-based Redman Movies and Stories didn't care to go on camera, but said he's not the villain in this story pointing out that the financial responsibility wasn't all his to take on. Still with Redman out the city had to move forward with plans and the development company, Woodbury Corporation, wanted to as well.
Josh Woodbury, Vice President of Woodbury Corporation told ABC 4 News, "We've been negotiating exclusively for the last six months to try and come up with a development plan for the former Granite High School property."
It’s hard to develop old public use property into commercial use without tearing down the old buildings and building on the green space, something the city just wasn't willing to do.
Wood said, "Right now we're making a decision that's, you know, will impact the city for 50 years plus on how this property develops. We don't take that very light."
Finding no other alternative for the old high school it seems that the Granite School District is going to be putting this property back out on the open market.