Holladay Hills to ‘reuse’ Macy’s buildingJan 05, 2023 11:05AM ● By Zak Sonntag
The Holladay Planning Commission in December voted to approve the preliminary site plan for the “adaptive reuse” of the Macy’s building, the primary structure for Block B of the Holladay Hills development and sole remaining landmark of the former Cottonwood Mall site. (File photo City Journals)
At Holladay Hills, a lot of big, new things are in the works, but some things will remain the same—sort of.
The Holladay Planning Commission in December voted to approve the preliminary site plan for the “adaptive reuse” of the Macy’s building, the primary structure for Block B of the Holladay Hills development and sole remaining landmark of the former Cottonwood Mall site.
Rather than demolish the building, developers will repurpose the three-story structure for mixed-uses, with ground-level retail and upper-level office space.
The approval also moves the project closer to a long-awaited mile marker: with the completion of Block B, Holladay Hills will meet the minimum requirements to trigger its Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which effectively relieves tax pressure on developers.
TIF agreements are a common municipal tool used to incentivize private development.
Once the TIF threshold is triggered, it will enable the developers to build parking decks and additional infrastructure to support concurrent uses and help speed the completion of the remaining project blocks, according to Chris Lawson, who represented the developer during a December planning commission meeting.
“It’s a pretty exciting milestone,” Lawson said.
Lawson said lease agreements for the office space are in the works and the space of now is reserved for two separate tenants. However, the architecture allows for anticipated reconfigurations to accommodate multiple renters on each level.
The plan alters an earlier vision of the broader development by shifting the primary plaza to now be between Block B and Block C, meant improve pedestrian experience and produce flow between the two blocks.
The adaptive reuse lends a sense of history to the development and immortalizes a structure community members associate with an era—even if some of its memories are sour, namely a community feud over the 2018 “Holladay Quarter.”
With the closure the Cottonwood Mall, the Holladay City Council undertook a sweeping rezone of the site in connection with developers for the Holladay Quarter, including Ivory Homes.
Residents decried the ensuing development proposal, however, and organized a referendum to overturn it. After residents won the referendum, the council appealed to the courts, where the issued was eventually decided by the Utah Supreme Court in a ruling that sided with residents, stating that the breadth of the rezone constituted a legislative decision, as opposed to an administrative decision, and was therefore subject to the referendum outcome.
Thereafter, the area reverted to a 2007 Site Development Master Plan (SDMP), under which Holladay Hills was permitted in 2019.