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Survey Recommends Against Tall Buildings In Cottonwood Mall Redevelopment

Feb 06, 2015 12:28PM ● Published by Tammy Nakamura

While the site of the old Cottonwood Mall sits locked up and undeveloped, a local resident is hoping input from a survey he conducted will be considered in the future.

An unsolicited, informal survey of Holladay City residents seems to indicate support for a new development at the old Cottonwood Mall site, which would be similar to the original mall. The survey found strong support for keeping any new development at two or three stories high.  It also showed strong opposition to the inclusion of low-income housing or affordable apartments.

The survey was generated by Ron Hilton, a Holladay resident.  Hilton also conducted a survey when the city was contemplating what to do with what is now the Village Center. He felt it might be beneficial for city officials to see what suggestions people have for the redevelopment at Cottonwood Mall.  

Hilton presented the findings to the Holladay City Council during the public comment period on Jan. 8. He emailed the survey to a list of up to 400 people he had generated from a previous survey about the Village Center project and from a failed bid for the Utah House of Representatives.

Hilton said he hopes the city uses the information to help the development move along smoothly. 

“It’s a bit different because the city doesn’t own any of the land in the Cottonwood Mall project, like it did with the Village Center, so the level of input the council can offer will be smaller. But I think it’s good for the city council members to know that there is concern about how tall the structures will be. That could become an issue,” he said.

The survey shows that the respondents, most of whom live in the city, support restaurants, department stores, local merchants and a parking structure.  In addition to the low-income housing, respondents did not seem to favor movie theaters, senior living or townhouses.

City Manager Randy Fitts said discussions continue with the developer, Howard Hughes Corporation of Dallas, Texas. But the property is privately owned, so there aren’t a lot of mandates the city can impose, he said.

“It was more than five years ago that the mall was demolished, and increasing costs of development may be the reason for the delay in construction,” Fitts said.

The council accepted the survey but plans to take no action on it.   
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