S.L. County buys land from LDS Church to build new D.A.'s offices
A new home for the Salt Lake County district attorney's office is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Mayor Ben McAdams said Tuesday the county has closed a deal to buy a 3.1-acre parcel at 465 S. Main St., northwest of the Matheson Courthouse, where the long-delayed D.A. headquarters will be built.
The land will be bought from Property Reserve Inc., the real-estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for $9.1 million.
"The proximity of the parcel to the courthouse is ideal and will be of great benefit to our staff," said District Attorney Sim Gill, who had not yet come into office when the development was first proposed in 2009.
Since then, it has been the subject of controversy, largely because the building's projected cost soared from an original estimate of $31 million to $45 million to $50 million.
Part of the debate revolved around plans to build the structure to a Net Zero use of energy standard, an environmentally advanced level whose advocates contend pays for itself with long-term energy savings.
But the short-term sticker shock that comes with Net Zero has caused heartburn for several County Council members, who still must sign off on the building's ultimate design.
In a statement about the land purchase, McAdams did not specifically mention a specific standard, just emphasizing the county "will design and build an energy-efficient structure."
He also praised the site's proximity to a TRAX station, citing the ease of access the rail line will provide for law-enforcement officials and others who have dealings with the D.A.'s office.
The headquarters building previously was planned for the southwest corner of 600 South and State Street. But that county-purchased site was too small, 2.3 acres, which would have required the county to acquire more parking.
McAdams said the 600 South property will be sold, most likely at a profit, with proceeds going toward the now-unspecified construction costs.
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