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Proposed project hopes to revitalize Trolley Square

Posted at 5:37 PM, Apr 17, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY - The owners of Trolley Square have unveiled what they say could be the final step in their plans to revitalize the historic block of buildings.

Included in those plans-- a bouldering gym, movie theater, and beer/food hall.

Those new establishments would open in spaces that currently sit empty and vacant in the mall known for its struggles in the past decade.

That includes a good portion of the second floor in the main building along 600 South.

"A lot of people look at [the second floor] and think to themselves, 'It's been empty for years. And there's nothing going on, there's no storefront,'" said Taymour Semnani, who serves as general counsel for SK Hart, the company that owns Trolley Square.

Semnani said tenants like Spectacle, Tabula Rasa, and Desert Edge Brewery have stuck with it and stayed during the mall's worst times.

The company had spent a few years trying to build Trolley Square back up, ahe saidaid they're down to the fine strokes of the development.

Semnani indicated that this could be the project to get them to where they want to be.

First up-- a 15,000 square foot space on the very northwest corner of the complex that will transform into a bouldering gym and foot training center for Momentum Indoor Climbing.

According to Momentum, this will be their fourth gym in Utah. Their other climbing centers are located in Millcreek, Sandy and Lehi.

The company said they hope to open in December of 2018.

"We can't wait to get them here," Semnani said.

In the main building, Semnani said they plan to open a movie theater on the second floor, but unlike movie theaters that occupied Trolley Square in the past, he said this one will include a different kind of concept.

"Less of a traditional movie theater, and more akin to an entertainment center-- pool, you'll likely be able to watch sports games," he said.

SK Hart is currently in negotiations for the theater, he said.

Another new concept they hope to open in the spot formerly taken up by Green Street next to Pottery Barn is a beer and food hall.

"Salt Lake City doesn't have a true food hall concept in the sense that... the concessionaires are curated and selected," Semnani explained.

They're in talks with two possible groups to bring that idea to life.

SK Hart will renovate the sky bridge that connects Trolley Square with the parking lot across 600 South.

In place of that lot, and the land around it, Semnani said they plan to build housing and a park.

It's a mix of businesses that Salt Lake City Council members like Derek Kitchen think could be just the thing to help the once-struggling mall thrive.

"Trolley Square moving in the direction of being a little more diverse in its offering," Kitchen said.

While he said he thinks the plans look great, Kitchen said at the end of the day, Trolley Square needs additional people to come and visit.

Kitchen acknowledged that the neighborhood around Trolley Square, "is poised for a massive comeback," with several developments popping up.

"The neighborhood is blossoming quite fast," Kitchen said.

Semnani said all of the development including the housing could take three years to complete.

He said they've already done site work and land zoning, and they hope to break ground right away.