Church adds to downtown Salt Lake City properties

Associated Press/June 13, 2004

Salt Lake City -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has purchased another building, adding to the property list of the biggest owner in downtown.

The church has closed on the purchase of the former Old Navy building on the corner of 100 South and Main Street, across the street from two malls that are scheduled for renovation.

"The intent is to use the building to provide space for tenants displaced by downtown mall redevelopment," LDS spokesman Dale Bills said Friday.

Terms of the latest acquisition were not disclosed.

Crossroads and ZCMI Center malls are scheduled to be overhauled, adding new high-fashion tenants and housing to the blocks. The church also plans to transform a parking lot on South Temple into a campus for Brigham Young University Salt Lake Center and LDS Business College.

City Councilwoman Jill Remington Love said non-Mormons shouldn't be overly concerned with the church's influence in plans for the redevelopment of downtown. She believes the church wants to develop projects for the masses, not just Mormons, although she plans to ask LDS officials to meet with the council in public and share their plans.

"It's a curiosity of, 'Oh, they're buying more property, and what is it for?' " Remington Love said. "It would just be helpful to know."

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