Cottonwood Mall was once a valley hot spot. Now, it is just a single department store in a big, empty field. All of that may soon change, though, because a new project is under way. The key component of that project: a grocery store.
A Smith's Food and Drug store may not seem like a weighty project, but it is feeding morale and a major development plan.
The development plan has been in the works since 2008. Ever since the original developers went bankrupt, that area’s future has been up in the air.
"When I was running for mayor, by far, the number one issue our residents brought up is, 'When is the new Cottonwood Mall development going to start?'" said Dahle.
Now, private corporations are finally stepping on board. The new Smith's will be about 78,000 square feet and will employ more than 100 people.
"We signed a letter of intent with The Howard Hughes Corporation that we intend to build a store there…” said Marsha Gilford, a public affairs representative for Smith’s. “It has been an area that we've been looking at for quite a while, and this just seemed to be the best location that we could choose.
That may sound surprising, given that nothing is really there yet, but eventually, the site will be home to offices, retail stores, and even more than 600 residential units.
"The grocery use was the key component that was really the major hold up with proceeding with the project," explained Dahle.
Some say they welcome the all the development.
"I think something should be done with that property, and I'm glad,” said Katherine Bills, a
Others have their concerns.
"I've noticed, living here, that around every single corner, there's a new grocery store…Since there are a lot of malls in Salt Lake County, they should try harder for diversity,” explained Sierra Bergmann, another resident.For now, contractors continue to plan and do not know when they will break ground. Smith’s says they hope to have the store up and running by late-2016.