Demolition underway on major downtown office tower, theater project

Published: Tuesday, March 4 2014 7:20 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — To passers-by at the southeast corner of 100 South and Main Street, it may look like an explosion has blown out what used to be a high-end jewelry store and a small bank branch.

However, it's the demolition of an old retail property that is making way for an addition to the downtown skyline.

Last week, City Creek Reserve — a real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — announced that it had taken over as developer of the 111 Main Street project.

Initially under development by Hamilton Partners, the 111 Main Office Tower — a 24-story office building — will be adjacent to the planned Utah Performing Arts Center in the downtown central business district.

Site preparation work is underway, including the aforementioned demolition. Few details about the transaction were released, and both City Creek Reserve and Hamilton Partners have declined comment, but the project is expected to continue on a similar construction schedule as originally announced several months ago with completion planned for September 2016.

The ground floor of the project will feature retail space, while the upper floors will offer more than 400,000 square feet of office area, with the average floor size consisting of column-free design, floor-to-ceiling glass, with 9-foot ceilings and 16-inch raised floors throughout in 21,000-square-foot customizable sections.

Preliminary design features include seismic engineering standards and increased energy conservation measures, along with redundant data and electric feeds from independent substations, voice and data lines with fiber-optic capabilities and a location for tenant generators. The building will also offer state-of-the-art and customizable security systems with turnstiles and 24-hour manned security.

Demolition is expected to last three or four months, and then excavation can begin for construction of the new office space and the Utah Performing Arts Center to be located at 135 S. Main. Also known as the New Performing Arts Center, the $114 million, state-of-the-art facility will include a 2,500-seat theater that will stage touring Broadway shows.

The Capitol Theatre and Kingsbury Hall each have a seating capacity of about 1,900 people, which results in Broadway productions such as “The Lion King” and “Wicked” often appearing in Salt Lake City later than other cities, according to the center's website. In addition, both venues have challenging load-in, lobby, backstage, seating, parking and concessions logistics for larger touring shows.

The center is also expected to attract other national music acts, performing arts, comedy and family entertainment. Scheduled to open in spring 2016, the facility will be operated by the county's Center for the Arts, which also owns and operates Abravanel Hall, Capitol Theatre and the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.