Mormon Church acquires 13 acres in downtown Salt Lake City

Deseret News, Utah/January 7, 2010

Salt Lake City - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has purchased 13 acres of prime downtown Salt Lake City real estate from The Sinclair Companies, formerly known as Sinclair Oil Corp., the hotel and oil corporation owned by Utah billionaire Earl Holding.

The property is located on two city blocks between 400 South and 500 South and between West Temple and the Matheson Courthouse.

The LDS Church confirmed the sale Thursday afternoon.

The sales price was not disclosed by either party nor on the special warranty deed filed with the Salt Lake County Recorder's Office.

"The land was purchased as a long-term investment with no immediate plans for development," said LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter.

Trotter said Property Reserve Inc. - a development arm of the LDS Church currently building the City Creek Center, a $3 billion office, retail and residential development in the space formerly occupied by the ZCMI Center and Crossroads Mall - obtained the property.

The deed to the property was signed Dec. 14, according to property records.

"It's the block north of Little America, the entire 10-acre block," Sinclair spokesman Clint Ensign said. "I believe that's Block 40. And then it is 3 acres directly east of Block 40. It's the block where the state courthouse is."

The property had been a surface parking lot.

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