Cottonwood Mall to be Reborn as Mixed-Use Town Center
One of the most sweeping redevelopments in company history.
General Growth Properties, Inc, 5 July 2007
In one of the most sweeping redevelopments of a property in the company’s 53-year history, General Growth Properties today announced that it will rebuild Cottonwood Mall near Salt Lake City, replacing a conventional enclosed mall with a mixed-use development of fashionable shops, residences, offices, streets conducive to strolling, riverside trails, and a public plaza that will become a community gathering place.
“The community of Holladay and the Salt Lake City region have eagerly awaited our plans for the rebirth of Cottonwood,” said John Bucksbaum, chief executive officer of General Growth Properties. “We hope to reward their patience with a comprehensive redevelopment that will create a truly delightful community gathering place for Holladay and its neighbors, while also generating jobs and revenue for public purposes such as schools and public safety. It took many months of planning and discussions with designers and city leaders, but we believe the wait and effort were worth it.”
“This project is a great example of how existing properties in our company portfolio can represent major new business opportunities through reinvention. By 2010, Cottonwood will look nothing like its present form. It will be a place with pleasant streets, cafes, a plaza and fountain, a new neighborhood of condominiums and townhouses, workplaces and streets where neighbor will greet neighbor. It will be a highly desirable place to live, shop, dine and work,” Bucksbaum said. General Growth hopes to begin the project this fall.
Under plans being reviewed by the City of Holladay, the mall will be completely reconstructed and transformed. The new Cottonwood will include distinctive housing types including condominiums, townhouses, cottages, and single family homes. It will offer a fashionable selection of retail shopping, cafés, restaurants, a specialty grocery, cinema, and upscale office space. Parking will be accommodated on decks hidden behind attractive buildings featuring a variety of rich architectural styles. The design provides a buffer from commercial traffic with well planned small block development which transitions naturally into the surrounding neighborhood.
General Growth said it plans environmentally-friendly building, design and engineering features. It also plans abundant landscaping and trees.
Designers and General Growth executives studied Salt Lake City regional buildings and the site’s natural setting to outline a plan that complements local architecture and the surrounding natural beauty of the Wasatch Front. Tree-lined streets frame the views of nearby Mount Olympus and lead to a central square with an iconic tower that heralds Cottonwood’s and Holladay’s location.
Mayor Dennis Webb, who for months has participated in on-going discussions about the plan with General Growth and their consultants, said, “The people of Holladay have long been eagerly anticipating a plan for the Cottonwood property. I hope they will be as delighted as I have been with the creativity and thoughtfulness of this plan, as well as by the prospect of creating both a new community gathering place and a job and revenue generator for the community. This has been worth the wait.”
The main cluster of commercial uses are accessed from Murray-Holladay Road and Highland Drive and are linked to a central square by a short main street lined with shops, offices, and residential lofts. The central square creates a unifying core for a network of small blocks and neighborhood streets, providing a natural setting for informal public life as well as organized community activities. By creating a pedestrian-friendly street network within the plan, including fountains, a river walk, gardens and central tower in the square, the design encourages walking, shopping, and opportunities for community interaction.
The plan for the 57-acre Cottonwood property, developed for General Growth by Duany Plater-Zyberk and Co., will follow the “New Urbanist” design principles that DPZ pioneered. New Urbanism advocates walkable, human-scaled neighborhoods featuring a variety of mixed land uses. These new neighborhoods include public plazas and spaces that encourage human interaction and strengthen feelings of community. New Urbanism is seen as an antidote to urban sprawl and a way to untether local residents from their automobiles.
DPZ has designed more than 300 new and existing communities in the United States and overseas. The firm is led by its principals, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, who are co-founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), which has been recognized by the New York Times as “the most important collective architectural movement in the United States in the past fifty years.” DPZ has received international recognition and dozens of local and national awards. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk led the Cottonwood design team, developing the plan on site, in close collaboration with Salt Lake City and Chicago-based General Growth officials, the City of Holladay and other stakeholders.
“The Cottonwood redevelopment will transform Cottonwood mall into a mixed-use, walkable community center featuring residences, shops and gathering spaces for the residents of the Holladay area at large,” said Plater-Zyberk. “The plan emerged after careful study of the site and its surroundings, and we look forward to seeing the design vision realized. We hope this project will become a focal point for the community, as well as provide a national model for the conversion of a shopping mall into a town center.”
General Growth last month announced that it is also redeveloping nearby Fashion Place shopping center. “It was important for us to contemplate how each development serves the same regional market and to make sure that each serves their communities in separate, distinct and complementary ways, offering customers a richer variety of choices than they have today,” said Bucksbaum.
Cottonwood Mall is owned and managed by General Growth Properties, Inc., the second largest U.S.-based publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) based upon market capitalization. General Growth has ownership interest or management responsibility for a portfolio of more than 200 regional shopping malls in 45 states, as well as ownership interest in master-planned community developments and commercial office centers. General Growth’s international portfolio includes ownership and management interest in shopping centers in Brazil and Turkey. The Company’s portfolio totals approximately 200 million square feet and includes more than 24,000 retail stores nationwide. General Growth Properties, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GGP.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the future operations suggested by these forward-looking statements, for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, the retail market, tenant occupancy and tenant bankruptcies, the level of our indebtedness and interest rates, market conditions, land sales in the Master Planned Communities segment, the cost and success of our development and redevelopment projects and our ability to manage our growth. Readers are referred to the documents filed by General Growth Properties, Inc. with the SEC, specifically the most recent report on Form 10-K, which further identify the important risk factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this release. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.