For those counting on City Creek Center and its surrounding development to be a catalyst for downtown’s revival, check out these numbers from the Salt Lake City mayor’s office:
More than 600 new business licenses have been issued in the city’s Central Business District since 2010, and 800 residents have moved into the downtown neighborhood.
Although not proof positive of cause-and-effect, the data and anecdotal responses from nearby merchants and center retailers do seem to reflect that City Creek is a magnet for positive activity where just a few years ago there was little to be positive about.
As dignitaries and others gathered Friday to mark the one-year anniversary of the City Creek Center shopping mall, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams likened the center to the state’s capital city and Utah “rising from the depths of the Great Recession. People are returning to work and investing,” and the mall has been a catalyst.
The Main Street mall, part of the larger City Creek office-retail-residential project, celebrated its initial year of operation Friday with sales, promotions and live music, which will continue Saturday. In fact, more music is on the way April 13, when as part of the grand opening for the Microsoft store there will a performance by the group Train.
If you come next month, expect company, because since its opening last year, City Creek Center has attracted 16.2 million visits to its 109 stores and restaurants. Fourteen new stores have opened since then.
“We’ve been talking a lot about having a world-class center and exceeding sales expectations,” Linda Wardell, general manager of City Creek Center, said Friday. “It’s an exciting time to be a shopper in Salt Lake City.”
Gov. Gary Herbert, among the dignitaries on hand, noted that the center topped a list of thousands of entrants as one of the best retail developments in 2012 as chosen by U.K.’s Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
“Utah is a good place to invest, and City Creek Center is an example,” said Herbert, adding that the downtown mall “is a symbol of the state’s growing economy.”
As further evidence of its drawing power, Jason Mathis of the Downtown Alliance pointed to the results of a survey by Richter 7 and Lighthouse Research. Four years ago only 30 percent of the state’s population felt a connection to Salt Lake City, compared with 70 percent today, the data show.
Mathis said the survey also shows that City Creek Center is driving foot traffic to surrounding shops and retailers, “and to some of the 300 small business that have opened in the downtown area within the past several years.”
City Creek Center, first-year feats
Visits • 16.2 million
Cheesecake Factory • Served 500,000 guests, sold 200,000 slices of cheesecake
Papyrus • Sold 42,000 cards, enough to send a note to every home in Sandy and South Jordan
Pandora • Sold 7,945 charms,1,848 bracelets, enough to line the creek running through the mall
LUSH • Sold enough bath bombs and bubble bars to fill a backyard swimming pool two times
Chick-fil-a • Served 41,000 kids meals, enough for every elementary student in Granite School District
Kay Jewelers • Sold 450 engagement rings, and was a part of 50 proposals at the shopping mall
Selected Saturday sales and promotions
AT&T • $100 off any computer tablet with two-year agreement
Express/Express Men • Her: 30 percent off dresses, Him: Tees $19.90, Polos $24.90
Macy’s • Drawing for a $250 gift card, music and a fashion show at 2 p.m. Saturday
N3L Optics • Buy one pair of sunglasses, get a second pair at $25 off
Pandora • Receive a sterling silver Pandora clasp bracelet (a $65 value) with your Pandora purchase of $100 or more
Texas de Brazil • $25 off two regular dinners
TUMI • 20 percent off everything
All offers subject to availability so see stores for details