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CITY CREEK CENTER
The Mormon Church's $3 billion dollar shopping mall.
| Like the LDS Church really cares what you think Rocky. Sorry to say but the LDS Church will do whatever it wants, whenever it wants. The LDS Church wants to place the focus of Utah and Salt Lake City on it'self. Why? So it can try to sucker more people into joining and thus increasing their cash flow.
From the Mormon Owned Deseret News:
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson has reservations about the redevelopment of downtown Salt Lake City.
Thursday, he questioned some of the plans of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and called for a more open public discussion of the church's $500 million downtown redevelopment project.
While he likes the housing and mixed-use aspects of the project, the mayor said it may have been a mistake for the church to partner with Michigan-based mall developer Taubman Co.
Instead, the church should consult urban and downtown planners and work to create a more walkable, traditional downtown setting with smaller, cut-up blocks and less enclosed retail, he said.
"Everybody ought to be talking to urban design and downtown redesign specialists and talking about what our downtown should be," Anderson said "The city as a whole has a huge stake in this."
Thursday, LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills said the church and its development team wouldn't comment on the mayor's concerns.
Anderson doesn't like current plans to create a new massive enclosed mall on much of the space that currently houses two massive enclosed malls – the ZCMI Center and Crossroads Plaza.
"Our downtown should not be comprised of a huge mall," Anderson said, adding, "I've never liked the idea of relying upon enclosed malls for this project. . . . I'm concerned about an enclosed mall suddenly becoming the main focus of our downtown."
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
| Looks like the LDS Church is going to have to increase their tithing requirements:
The LDS Church will invest close to $1 billion when it remakes downtown Salt Lake City's two malls - which will be closed on Sundays - according to Salt Lake City Council members.
The price tag is double initial estimates. And whatever the church is doing with all that money, the preliminary design has impressed mall critic Mayor Rocky Anderson.
The mayor met with LDS Presiding Bishop H. David Burton, who is in charge of the mall makeovers, at Burton's office Thursday. And while Anderson has criticized the church for its secrecy, he refused to discuss what he learned, saying the meeting was confidential.
However, he did release a statement saying "many of the concerns previously raised have been met by innovative design solutions. This will be a unique, exciting project bringing hundreds of new residents to the downtown area and attracting millions of people to beautiful retail, residential and office facilities."
While the church is still publicly mum about its mixed-used design - though it presented preliminary concepts recently to City Council members and business leaders - it plans to seek more public comment than the city requires as soon as this summer.
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
| Downtown Salt Lake City is on the verge of getting a 5-year, $1.5 billion redevelopment project, CPN has learned.
Representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Property Reserve Inc. aims to redevelop 20 acres of Downtown Salt Lake City, focusing on more than 1 million square feet of retail, as well as housing and office. The real estate investment arm of the church, Property Reserve will work in conjunction with The Taubman Group. When finalized, the project is expected to be the largest investment in the Salt Lake region since the 2002 Winter Olympics.
"Over the next two to four years, Downtown, is looking at massive redevelopment," said Paul Skene, first vice president of CB Richard Ellis Inc.'s Salt Lake City office. "An official announcement is expected within the next 30 days."
While the significant office space existing within the 20 acres is expected to remain mostly untouched, Skene said that Property Reserve has plans to eliminate or refurbish KeyBank Tower, a 300,000-square-foot office building. Either plan will leave tenants--which occupy approximately 250,000 square feet there--to find new space in the area.
| LDS Official To Update Salt Lake On Downtown - Bishop Burton To Talk Tuesday About Redevelopment Project |
Monday, Apr 10, 2006, at 07:31 AM
Original Author(s): Kersten Swinyard
Topic: CITY CREEK CENTER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| From the Mormon owned Deseret News:
Where there used to be an American Eagle Outfitters, a Speedo store, Mervyn's, Victoria's Secret and a nail salon in Crossroads Plaza, dark storefronts and white-paneled walls sit amid cheery signs promising change.
Crossroads Plaza remains mostly vacant except for Nordstrom and a handful of stores on the first floor.
The change, though, hasn't come yet, after years of whispers and rumors about how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will handle the massive redevelopment of its downtown malls and surrounding properties.
Much of the complexity comes from having to move tenants from long-held leases. One holdout is Utah Woolen Mills, which has 63 years left on a 90-year lease. Company president Bart Stringham doesn't want to give up the store's private parking and prime storefront facing Temple Square, which draws about 5 million people a year.
"We're dealing with the church, and they have a lot of power, a lot of say, a lot of money," Stringham said. "The holdup is that maybe we've been expected to just roll over and play dead and do what they will."
| From the Mormon owned Deseret News:
It's not every metropolitan downtown that features its very own ghost town, but Salt Lake City does. It's called the Crossroads Plaza, a k a the Ghost Mall.
Admission is free and directions are simple. Just walk 2 1/2 blocks due east of the bustling, thriving Gateway development and enter through the doors with the '80s style "CP" stenciled on the glass.
Just like that you're into Salt Lake's very own mall-turned-mausoleum.
What was once a bustling, thriving shopping mecca with 140 stores and restaurants and people fighting over parking places now has exactly 15 places still in business, and 10 of those are in the basement.
On the main level, there's one bank, one department store, one bookstore and two dress shops, both of which are, as we speak, holding 50 percent going-out-of-business sales.
Beyond that, there's so much empty space it reminds you of Wyoming. Downtown Ophir is busier. They could hold a Formula One race in the Crossroads Plaza and no one would get hurt.
| From the Salt Lake Tribune:
As you enter Crossroads Plaza, a sign suggests you leave.
Not a great first impression. But anymore, this Salt Lake City shopping center isn't out to dazzle. More mausoleum than mall, just three stores remain open where 160 once thrived.
Oddly, this is a sign of progress: The windows at the closed Mervyn's are papered in black. The escalator at the entrance is walled off. The shuttered fourth floor is home to garbage pails that catch water from the leaking roof. The food court is starved of eateries.
Plants outnumber shoppers.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns the ghost town, along with the comparatively bustling ZCMI Center across Main Street. The church, with its headquarters to the north, bought a struggling Crossroads in 2003 to protect its nearby Temple Square from blight.
The LDS Church declined to respond to specific questions about its plans, instead saying tenant negotiations are ongoing.
| Mention Of The $2 Billion Price Tag Of The Church's SLC Malls Project Disappears In One Day |
Wednesday, Oct 4, 2006, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Freeatlast
Topic: CITY CREEK CENTER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| The $2 billion price tag was mentioned in yesterday's Deseret News article, "Church to unveil downtown plans today"
However, one day later and there's no mention of any project cost: "Downtown rebound: LDS Church unveils plans for 20-acre development"
KSL's homepage, which will change later today, states: "The Mormon church, a major downtown property owner, announced a $1 billion-plus project Tuesday that calls for commercial, residential and retail space after the destruction of many longtime landmarks." (ref. http://www.ksl.com).
Note "$1 billion-plus". Back in 2003, the total estimated project cost was announced as approx. $500 million. A year later, the SL Trib reported the cost as closer to $1 billion. Then last year, it reached $1.5 billion, according to the Commercial Development News. Now, according to yesterday's Deseret News report, the project cost has reached $2 billion. How much higher will it be going?
So, in the span of three years, the LDS Church, which cried poor about six years ago and told members that they'd have to start cleaning meetinghouses themselves (because chapel custodians were being let go; other church workers' jobs were axed as well), somehow managed to 'scrape' together an extra $1.5 billion!
For $2 billion, 385,000 children in Third World countries could be sponsored for 12 years through an established humanitarian organization. However, the "true and living church of Jesus Christ" has more important work to do, such as pursuing a corporate real estate project that incorporates "the best of urban design into a retail shopping district that will function as a first-class regional shopping center"
| It's Part Of The Church's Strategy Of Reducing Costs So It Can Pay For Its $2B Mega-Project |
Thursday, Jul 26, 2007, at 09:40 AM
Original Author(s): Freeatlast
Topic: CITY CREEK CENTER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| In case you aren't aware of what's happened with the project (for downtown Salt Lake City), it started off in 2003 with a cost estimate of $500 million. According to news reports, by 2004 the cost had doubled to $1 billion. Then in 2005, the Commercial Property News reported that the cost was $1.5B. On Oct. 3/06, the Deseret News reported that the huge commercial real estate venture was "about $2 billion". Four months ago, the Deseret News reported that the cost would be "$2 billion over five years" (ref. http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249...).
Not only has the scope of the LDS Church's mega-project increased in four years, its cost has quadrupled; $2B will not be the final bill, either. In UT, there's a very strong demand for skilled tradespeople (resulting in rising wages), and globally, the demand for copper, steel, cement, and other building materials is VERY strong. For example, in the past two two years, the price of copper has nearly tripled.
The LDS Church has been cutting costs this century in order to pay for its enormously expensive construction projects (e.g., the LDS Conference Center, hundreds of chapels/meetinghouses, several temples, property acquisitions). Also, as energy costs have risen, operating costs have undoubtedly increased substantially.
About 7 years ago, the LDS Church laid off hundreds of church employees, including meetinghouse/chapel custodians and 'lower-level' staff (e.g., clerical personnel) at the church's HQ in Salt Lake City. In the spring of 2000, the LDS Conference Center was opened. "Total cost of the building, although not publicly released, has been reported between $160 and $240 million dollars." (ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lds_conf...).
Not only has the LDS Church had to pay for its aggressive construction program, it has spent millions to buy the second largest ranch in Nebraska a few years ago (est. price tag: $26M), develop a 200-room hotel on the north side of Oahu, and acquire and develop other assets.
This week, I received the following communication from a Mormon who works in finance:
"The key objection to the Mall [the church's mega-project in SLC] is that its cost is greater than the local area can generate revenues to pay for it. At a $1.5 billion price tag [it's actually $2B] and a minimum 4.75% return (based on 30-year Treasury Bills, usually used as the minimum return by professional financial analysts), the Mall would have to generate more than $70 million a year in net profits ($1,500,000,000 times 4.75% = $70,000,000). Not gross revenues, but net profits. And there's simply not a large enough economic base in SLC for those kinds of profits..."
Cleaning the Washington, DC temple used to be done by custodial staff. I imagine that the staff there has been cut back to a minimum to free up cash for the SLC mega-project. Earlier this year, the LDS Church reduced the food and basic personal care budget of its missionaries by 10.34%, and six weeks ago, the word came down from church HQ in SLC to mission and stake presidents that they were (are) to find members for missionaries to live with.
The church has unilaterally declared that it will compensate LDS homeowners US$75 (or CAD$85) per month for their extra expenses resulting from housing missionaries. In most metro areas, board (i.e., renting a room in a home) costs $400+/month. The church will save hundreds of dollars per month per missionary pair by 'persuading' members to house missionaries. I have no doubt that the freed-up cash will be used for the $2B mega-project.
What the senior priesthood leadership of the LDS Church has NOT done, which it is ethically and morally bound to do, is inform Latter-day Saints, such as your TBM wife and DIL, that by getting them to clean church buildings, they are indirectly subsidizing the church's $2 billion mega-project.
| Is The LDS Church Having Trouble Obtaining The $2 Billion Needed For Its Downtown SLC Mega-Project? |
Friday, Aug 3, 2007, at 07:30 AM
Original Author(s): Cdnxmo
Topic: CITY CREEK CENTER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| On July 26/07, the Deseret News reported the following:
"The largest project, of course, is the downtown mall renovation by the LDS Church, which is projected to add about $2 billion of demolition and construction during the next five years. The church has not announced when it will be filing plans."
(ref. http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249...; ).
Four years have gone by since the LDS Church first announced its malls project, which had a projected cost of $500 million back in 2003. By 2004, the estimate had doubled to $1B, then to $1.5B by Oct./05 (ref. http://www.cpnonline.com/cpn/article_...), to "about $2 billion" by Oct./06 (ref. http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249..., and "$2 billion over five years" by Mar./07 (ref. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi...).
As previously reported on this board, on May 30/07, the LDS Church directed stake and mission presidents to find LDS homeowners to provide housing to missionaries. The directive indicated that the church would compensate members at a monthly rate of US$75 or CAD$85 for their extra costs. In most metro areas, renting out a room in someone's home costs approximately $375+ per month, depending on the suburb and other factors. In the major metro areas, the monthly cost can easily be $450/mo., or more.
Is anyone aware of the LDS Church announcing to church units or families with a son or daughter on a mission that the monthly amount they send to the church for its missionary program will be reduced subtantially if their missionary is housed with an LDS homeowner? I haven't heard of any such announcement, and am highly doubtful that one will ever be made.
Wards, branches, and LDS parents will continue to naively send in a few hundred dollars per month to the church for each missionary, and without informing Latter-day Saints, the church will divert part of those funds to help pay for the SLC mega-project. As more and more LDS homeowners are 'persuaded' to participate in the church's new missionary housing program, the cash flow to the project will increase (or so the suits' theory goes, no doubt).
What proof is there of a clandestine church funding plan for the project? Well, has the LDS Church announced that for every missionary pair housed with a member, the funds to be submitted by the ward, branch, or family will be reduced by the saved amount? To the best of my knowledge, no. So, where's the extra cash going? The church hasn't said, and its senior patriarchal leadership won't clarify the funding situation for rank-and-file Latter-day Saints.
The sentence in the July 26 Deseret News report, "The church hasn't announced when it will be filing plans.", makes me wonder if the church's latest cash-diversion program isn't going as well as the COB suits thought it would. Bear in mind that the missionaries-in-members'-homes program is only one of a no. of ways that the LDS Church has been cutting costs to free up cash. Members are cleaning not only chapels, but also temples. The missionaries' food and basic personal care budget have been reduced by 10+% even though related costs continue to increase.
The LDS Church has had several months to establish a project timeline, which would include the filing of its plans for its downtown SLC commercial real estate venture. Labor and construction material costs continue to climb (global demand for basic materials such as copper, steel, cement, etc. remains very strong). I have to wonder if church bean-counters have told Hinckley and the other COB suits that the church just doesn't have the cash to pay for the project (unless it sells off some assets).
| OK, let’s get this out in the open. We are a construction consulting, inspection and testing firm that deals with theses types of projects.
First let’s get the cost speculation resolved.
Currently the end cost is 10 billion dollars. This is their budget not a speculation. For reference let’s use the Conference Center. When we first started it, the budget was announced at 350 million dollars (the amount stated on the building permit application). Then with the design build and accelerated construction demanded by the Mormon church costs rose. The end cost was 1.2 billion dollars (if you take a tour now and ask one of the guides they will proudly admit this fact). The Conference Center is only one city block and consists of five stories with underground parking. The City Creek Center is going to be two and a half blocks with multiple buildings, underground parking, etc. One building alone is the 32 story condominium project which is going to cost between 750 million and 1 billion. The sad part is that even with 16 condominiums on each floor and selling them for a million dollars each, the Mormon church will only recover 480 million. The actual cost of this design build, accelerated constructionwill most likely come in at 15 billion dollars. Every day of delay increases the costs.
Second is the Mormon church hurting financially because of this project – YES!
In our meetings we are continually being asked how to reduce costs. For example, the buildings were to be constructed using French Marble (38 per square foot) then Chinese Granite (28 per square foot) and now a brick façade (8 – 10 per square foot). The main cause is attributed to TBM’s becoming upset and either reducing there tithing by using their net as the basis of 10%, or counting travel time to assignments (temple, canning, etc.), gas costs, Deseret Industries donation, etc. as payment in kind donations. And while it is true that the funds used to build the City Creek Center are not tithing, these other funds are now needed to make up the short fall caused by the reduction.
Another factor is the economy. The Mormon church conducts its financial transactions in US dollars. The US dollar has fallen in the world monetary markets. THIS IS HURTING THEM.
| Mormon Church leaders just told members in conference to live frugal lives. (http://www.sltrib.com/ci_12072579)
Now the church has set the price on their City Creek Development condos overlooking the Salt Lake Temple. Prices for a two-bedroom loft start above $2 million:
From the article:
Kirkham notes the LDS Church's ties to Salt Lake City -- with its campus of sacred edifices and headquarter offices nearby -- allow it to market City Creek housing to people outside of Utah.
"Some of those people will absolutely pay whatever they have to pay to be down there," said Kirkham, calling those downtown temple views compelling draws. Prices at the Richards Court towers across from Temple Square start at $442,000 for a studio, then spiral to $1 million for a one-bedroom loft and more than $2 million for a two-bedroom with a den.
Described as the portal between Temple Square and the City Creek commercial center, the 10-story Richards Court towers going up at 45 and 55 W. South Temple "define" urban living. Besides the floor-to-ceiling glass that ushers the temple spires or mountain peaks into living rooms, the units offer private balconies or "juliettes," along with a parklike terrace. All are equipped with bathroom marble, granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, hardwood flooring, designer lighting and underground parking.
The LDS Church also plans a 30-story residential tower -- on the corner of South Temple and West Temple -- that will be marketed this summer. It is part of the church's overall $1.5 billion-plus rebuild of downtown's north end, expected to be complete in 2012.
Yet even in the down economy, as residential-retail projects sputter and stall, interest in City Creek condos continues to spike, according to Bill Knowles, ombudsman to the Salt Lake Chamber's Downtown Rising effort. "I know a substantial number of them have been sold."
"They have a bigger pool of buyers than a normal project," he said. "I'm not that surprised. It's like a lifestyle.
So what would Jesus do?
| It's Official! LD$, Inc. Is Building A Multi-Million-Dollar Hotel In Hawaii |
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009, at 09:31 AM
Original Author(s): Bean Counter
Topic: CITY CREEK CENTER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Despite the worst recession in the United States since the Great Depression, Pres. Obama's recent warning that the US economy could slip back into recession, a double-digit decline in tourism in Hawaii, the Obama Admin.'s plan to add $8 trillion to the current national debt of $12 trillion (raising the national debt load by 2020 to 150% of Gross Domestic Product from its current level of 80%), and the extra $2.5 billion that the 'one, true' church, LD$, Inc., is spending on its Great and Spacious Mall-and-Condos project in SLC (the cost estimate in 2003 was 'just' $500M), Mormon 'profits' have authorized construction of the church's new, multi-million-dollar hotel in Hawaii.
"The 45-year-old Laie Inn, adjacent to BYU-Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center, closed for business Nov. 1 and will be demolished to make room for a new development."
"Groundbreaking for the new, modestly sized hotel is expected by the end of 2010." (ref. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/70...)
Given the backlash from church members about the Great and Spacious Mall-and-Condos project (i.e., plenty of Latter-day Saints stopping payment of tithing after discovering that the church was spending billions of dollars on the project), it's not surprising that there is no mention of hotel size or cost in the Des. News report. However, non-LDS news sources have reported on both aspects of the hotel project. From Dec./07:
"Officials from Marriott International Inc. say the company is close to signing an agreement to operate a new 220-room hotel planned for La'ie.
The new hotel, which is expected to be completed sometime in 2010, would replace the 48-room Lai'e Inn, which is controlled by Hawaii Reserves Inc., the land management arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
"Beaver [Eric Beaver, Hawaii Reserves Inc.'s president] said the original $30 million cost estimate given when the hotel plan was first proposed in 2004 is outdated. He said he could not provide an updated cost." (ref. http://www.eturbonews.com/255/hawaii-...)
Given what's happened to the cost of the church's Great and Spacious Mall-and-Condos project in six years (a 500-percent increase), would it be unreasonable to expect that the new, 220-room hotel in Hawaii will end up costing more than $200 million? I don't think so.
Apparently, President and CEO Jesus Christ of LD$, Inc. again wants to spend several million dollars on yet another commercial real estate venture in the debt-ridden USA than do something Christian (in the United States or elsewhere in the world), like feed a portion of the 1 billion people worldwide who are malnourished (ref. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...) or save 16,400-plus children from starving to death each day (ref. http://wvgazette.com/Opinion/Editoria...).
According to the Des. News report linked above, "...members of the First Presidency have not stayed at the Laie Inn in the last 10 or 15 years because of the condition of the inn." Oh dear! How troubling! People can starve to death and Latter-day Saints can struggle to make ends meet, but at least 1st Prez. members and other LDS General Authorities will soon have a nice, new hotel to stay at in Hawaii, with all the comforts and amenities needed to do the work of the Lord's religious-corporate Kingdom on Earth, LD$, Inc.
| LDS Nepotism In Construction Of The City Creek Center: Another Piece Of Ripe Fruit |
Saturday, Jun 26, 2010, at 09:48 AM
Original Author(s): Atheist&happy:-)
Topic: CITY CREEK CENTER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| from the nepotism family tree.
I have lived in downtown SLC for 20 years, and witnessed the construction of the behemoth Conference Center, Hotel Utah conversion, Main Street Plaza, tabernacle renovation, church history library, now City Creek, and many more. One company whose name I have seen at every single large LD$ construction site is Jacobsen Construction.
I will not be posting links, but if you go to their web site the first photograph is part of the new City Creek construction.
If you click on Portfolio, and then Religious, you can see some of what they have built, and renovated for TSCC, but that is not all:
LD$ Church Administration Building Seismic Upgrade
LD$ Church History Library
LD$ Conference Center
Rexburg Idaho LD$ Temple
Salt Lake Tabernacle Seismic Upgrade and Renovation
under Historic Renovation:
Salt Lake City, Utah, LD$ Temple Exterior Restoration
Logan Temple Exterior Restoration
new Zions Bank Tower exterior
Main Street Plaza and Parking
Many more of their projects are essentially LD$, like ones on BYU campus, and the Deseret News Building. Other projects were likely gained through LD$ ties as well. I have not looked at commercial buildings on LD$ owned property, since they do own a lot of land, especially downtown. Also, with all this wealth, and steady work from TSCC, they have had the opportunity to gain more experience than competitors, gain an advantage, and obtain work through merit, because of that advantage.
Some older projects from Ted Jacobsen’s obituary:
LD$ Church Parking Garage, ZCMI Parking Structure, Hotel Utah expansion, Los Angeles temple, Washington D.C. temple, Oakland temple, “to name just a few”...
Note: They do these incredibly huge projects, and give back with patio pavers, pouring a sidewalk at a school for the blind, and food drives.
In family history it is common to descend from royalty through women, because the men would inherit the titles, and of course if we were descended from them we would be aristocracy. Daughters would be married off to wealthy merchants, clergymen, etc.
This is the situation with Soren Jacobsen. He made a name for himself, founding his company in 1922 after a few decades of hard work, and his son Ted married into “royalty”. Even though his father founded the company, Ted Jacobsen was present for much of the growth from the early depression era until 1978 when he retired, and his marriage in 1935 to Florence Smith strengthened business ties with TSCC. This is the little I have found so far:
Theodore Christian Jacobsen married Florence Smith:
1 Florence Smith, daughter of 2and3
2 Willard Richards Smith, son of 4and5
3 Florence Grant, daughter of 6and7
4 Joseph Fielding Smith
5 Sarah Ellen Richards
6 Heber J. Grant
7 Lucy Stringham (***this is the same Lucy Stringham who is the sister of two of the three Beneficial Life founders)
So Ted Jacobsen’s wife Florence Smith is the granddaughter of two church presidents.
Florence Smith Jacobsen was:
1961-1972 - 6th President of the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association, and restored the Beehive House, and Lion House. Also, around this time she assisted with the restoration of the Brigham Young, and Wilford Woodruff homes in Nauvoo.
1973 - She was asked to be curator of the Museum of Church History and Art, where she oversaw the restoration of church buildings.
“As a church curator, Jacobsen supervised the restoration of many church buildings, including the Promised Valley Playhouse in Salt Lake City; the E. B. Grandin building in Palmyra, New York; the Brigham Young home in St. George, Utah; the Jacob Hamblin home in Santa Clara, Utah; the Newell K. Whitney store in Kirtland, Ohio; and the interior of the Manti Utah Temple.”
Whether they donated services, and TSCC mooched off of them, or whether they were paid well, or both, it does not matter to me, because they have been “rewarded” many times over since then with contracts to build large projects for TSCC.
Florence S. Jacobsen is still alive. Once again we see the feigned humility of TSCC in remarks by TSM at a dinner in her honor this May:
"When the Lion House was being renovated, the Florence you see tonight, the beautiful woman we see, was scrubbing the floors. And that part of her, in all this time, I think has not been understood."
What does that even mean? So, she is “just plain folk”? These are wealthy, privileged people. How many of us know, or are the people, who have been faithful members, have given their lives in sacrifice to TSCC, and when in need of a little help were refused or treated badly? She is the daughter of two church presidents, and her descendants are very secure.
Jacobsen Construction revenues from:
2006 - 405M
2005 - 359.9M
"Seven Utah-Based Commercial Contractors Make ENR's Top 400 Contractor's List" 06/10/2010, By Ken Holman, Overland Group, Inc.
“The cumulative revenues of the seven Utah contractors fell dramatically from $3.75 billion (a record high) in 2008 to $3.11 billion in 2009, a 21 percent decrease during the one-year period.
Okland, Jacobsen and Big-D are the primary contractors on the downtown Salt Lake City Creek development project, a $1.5 billion project developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Okland seems to have no nepotism ties, just LD$ ties, but I have not looked much. Big-D seems to have “gentile” beginnings, and I do not know yet if some of their leadership is LD$.
Since 2006 Jacobsen Construction has been employee owned, and I do not know enough about various ownership plans to discuss that. I can post what I have found if anyone wants to address the subject with knowledge, and not speculation.
So far I have seen a lot of large business ventures surrounding the Heber J. Grant family. It would be interesting to examine to what extent certain families have become wealthy from the processes described in Frank J. Cannon’s book from 1911:
"I am here repeating this argument–this exposition–because the financial absolutism of the Prophets of the Church has since ruined the whole Mormon experiment in communism, put the Mormon paupers into the public poor houses, used the tithes to support the large financial ventures of the Prophet's favorites, and turned the Church's "community enterprises" into monopolistic exploitations of the Mormon people. And this change began even while our negotiations were pending in New York–for they were prolonged, for various reasons, into the summer of 1898, and they were interrupted finally by the death of President Woodruff."
The nepotism links I have seen show the familial ties between the leadership in TSCC, but I would like to see the ties between the corporations who have done, and currently do business with TSCC, the fortunes that have been built AND the leadership. Ties to local government, the legislature, and congress would be interesting to examine too. Who is looking into that? Frank J. Cannon talked about this, and many fortunes appear to have been amassed around that time. The monopolies that were created largely benefitted individual families, and not general church membership over the decades.
| While Mormons Scrubbed Chapel Toilets For Free, LDS Inc. Planned "Fire Fountains" |
Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Bean Counter
Topic: CITY CREEK CENTER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| From the June 25/10 Deseret News report:
The developers [City Creek Reserve, a division of LD$ Inc. a.k.a. the Mormon Church] have hired Sun Valley, Calif.-based Wet Design, which has made award-winning water fountains throughout the world - including the famous fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas - to design water features for City Creek Center.
"There will be some that are musically choreographed," Gibbons said, "and some features never implemented before."
City Creek Reserve officials declined to reveal more, saying they didn't want to spoil the unveiling in 2012 by Wet Design.
"I'll give you the teaser that there's some fire involved, and it will be quite dramatic," [City Creek Reserve President Mark] Gibbons said."
Isn't it marvelous? Isn't it wonderful?
| From the Tucson Citizen:
Dubai. Salt Lake City. Northeast Phoenix.
City Creek Center, a 25-acre project planned in Salt Lake City, also has plans for a retractable roof. Salt Lake's Deseret News reported earlier this year that the cost of the roof could reach $1.5 billion.
From the Mormon owned Deseret News:
The tour offered the first peek at a proposed retractable roof over a portion of the open-air mall, expected to be utilized during extreme weather. The elongated dome over one portion of the project's galleria space divides at its center and retracts out of view.
Bill Williams, CCRI's director of architecture and engineering, said the retractable roof is being designed by the engineers behind the mechanized roof at Safeco Field in Seattle, home of Major League Baseball's Mariners.
| I worked in church finances for a number of years. Until the last decade or so, the local wards/stakes would deposit all funds received into a local bank account, which was an interest bearing account. SLC would collect the monies each month (as account holder) and put them into a central account held by their own bank (theirs at the time).
That money would collect more interest until (I now am relying on what another told me) it was invested short term in high-yield CDs, mutual funds or even stocks. That was held in these investments until it was needed to directly pay for church expenses which are commonly listed in public by the LDS church. Namely, church building/construction, maintenance, and function; educational centers construction/upkeep; MTCs, Temples, etc.
I asked my HQ source how long the money is held in investments, and was told that it varied, but could be as long as several years, if they had a large surplus and no significant need to build chapels/temples. The interest-investment income earned from tithing held in accounts is rumored to be the primary source of laundering LDS excess money into Corporation money and the source of ChurchCo non-religious purchasing. The tithing is retained as solely for church needs without any interest or income added from investments. The investment money earned by holding tithing is used for other purposes.
I'm betting this is how the church funded City Creeps Mall. They can legitimately say it wasn't tithing, even though tithing is used directly to earn that investment income.
If the Creeps Mall funding had come from the Corp's (President or Presiding Bishop), then the Church itself couldn't be the primary investor.
I believe it came from investing tithing and scraping that profit...
| Moving the creek I find particularly offensive with so many villages in Africa struggling to survive on polluted water. So many children dying needlessly. Terrible suffering from lack of clean water.
Others here have posted fascinating links to financial analysts comparing the Mormon Church's major expenditure to landmark construction elsewhere. Their posting of the buildings around the world costing far less, offering much more square footage and much more impressive than this non-landmark massive, massive investment in the perpetutation of uber materialism/commercialism.
Since LDS, Inc. is a church, collecting funds from sacrificing families, there is the assumption that monies donated would have been "invested" in plans/schemes to alleviate suffering, save lives and alleviate suffering, because this is what Jesus said and did.
To gain perspective on what a tremendous loss this mall expenditure is to the suffering in the world, one has only to contemplate the importance of clean water to solve world problems. As a world, we are facing climate change and everyone knows the future wars will be fought over water. If the Mormon church leaders were truly inspired, and saw themselves as followers of Christ, they would be doing what other Christian religions are doing--alleviating suffering and promoting physical well-being as well as just delivering a spriritual message. Jesus fed people, Jesus healed people.
The LDS Church clearly HAS ANOTHER MISSION THAT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SPIRITUAL OR PHYSICAL WELFARE OF HUMANITY.
For example, just read this from the website Charity Water. It will do you some good to get some sentences in your head that are from people with empathy, with real caring apart from any next-life reward for themselves. Imagine how the Mormons could have changed the world had they used their largesse for good:
They could have completely revitalized the entire continent of Africa just by providing clean water with their 5 Bil.
CHARITY WATER focuses on life’s most basic need -- water.
But to significantly cut down disease rates in the developing world, water is just the first step. Almost everywhere Charity Water builds a freshwater well, we also require sanitation training. In some communities, we build latrines; at the very least, we promote simple hand-washing stations made with readily-available materials. Clean water can greatly alleviate the world’s disease burden, but only with education and hygienic practice. Charity Water is committed to using water as a gateway to sanitary living.
every $1 invested in improved water access and sanitation yields an average of $12 in economic returns, depending on the project.
Clean water transforms lives, communities and generations -- and at a surprisingly low cost. $20 can provide clean water for one person.
GIVE A WELL TO A WOMEN
The walk for water that used to take everyone here three hours, now takes 15 minutes. And the water is safe to drink. A hygiene worker teaches your village the importance of sanitation. Your community builds latrines and sets up handwashing stations. You join the Water Committee to oversee your village's new water source. As a woman, this is your first local leadership position.You use the extra time and new water source to start a vegetable garden and feed your family. You sell your extra food at the market. Your kids spend more time in school instead of walking for water. They graduate to become teachers, hygiene workers or business owners.
A nearby village learns how water transformed your community. They petition for a well in their village, and the cycle starts again.
$5,000 TO $20,000 for one well, depending on population. Millions of men and women migrating back and forth, dying by the thousands, their entire continent could have been transformed.
Or a new spending experience for God's chosen wealthy.
| I took the time today to walk City Creek Center, the multi-billion dollar downtown makeover recently opened by the Mormon Church and Taubman Centers, Inc. My observations:
- Overall, it looks very nice. The use of outdoor design elements, including a flaming water fountain done by the same company that does the Bellagio fountains, and the overall pedestrian feel, all work to boost downtown's appeal in spades.
- Main Street runs right through the middle of it all. The frequent passing of light rail eases access for shoppers and gives it a good urban feel. For the sake of the city itself, I hope the draw is permanent and that non-mall stores further south on Main Street get a boost too.
- The stream that runs through it has trout. We Utahns love trout. Security should be prepared to tell anyone with a 3 weight fly rod to pack it in and head home. Knowing how security runs downtown, I think they're up to that tongue-in-cheek task. Especially if the guy's fishing vest is purple and his polarized lenses are bedazzled.
- It seems fitting to see Utah's most upscale mall with The Cheesecake Factory as its showcase restaurant. Oh, there's valet parking right in front of it too.
- Foot traffic, even on a Sunday, was high. I saw a few people walk up to stores and try to go in, then walking away confused and wondering why none of the stores at such a new, fancy establishment weren't open today. The church is sticking to its guns on Sunday shopping. Will it last?
- The store lineup is pretty comprehensive. Coach, Tiffany, Porsche Design, Brooks Brothers, and Utah Woolen Mills on the high end. Nordstrom and Macy's as anchors. HandM, Gap, Express, and J Crew on the more affordable side, relatively speaking. And let's not forget Mr. Mac, a Utah clothing institution. But it's the high end that sets this apart from Fashion Place in Murray.
- True Religion Jeans is evidently coming soon.
I visited the LDS Freedom Forum and found rigorous, thoughtful, and outright crazy comments from that board:
"I saw an ad on KSL TV (local Salt lake station) recently by the church promoting the new City Creek Plaza as if it were owned and operated by some wealthy billionaire or Fortune 500 company (they were talking up all the fancy apparel stores, fine dining and luxury items that will be available for shoppers). I couldn't help but wonder how this would look to members in other states or even countries if they saw the ad or the plaza complex itself? How many stories have we all heard from the pulpit or read in the Ensign about some family in South Africa that saved up for six months just to be able to walk several miles to their temple? Imagine that same family seeing this commercial on TV or the plaza complex itself knowing that $3 billion in church funds was used to construct it - how would that carry over? I don't know why things like this bother me, but it sure looks bad and probably comes across to others as the church being obsessed with worldly image and opinion of itself. And what really bugs me the mostis when I hear a church official publicly state that no church tithes were used to build the complex when in fact, the monies used for the investment funds that supposedly generated the $3 billion to construct it originated from tithing donations. Are the Lord and our Savior up there encouraging our church officials to construct things like this while many members in Utah, the United States and other nations are unemployed, hungry, have no health insurance and/or rely on government assistance to survive?"
"I just hope someday we'll see the purpose and the righteous choice behind it. I agree, it looks bad... but who knows, we've been told we're in the storm. Maybe at some point the storm will become so raging that this construction becomes a place of gathering and safety. But of course, that's just speculation. I can see why it bugs you."
"Is this really what the Lord inspired the prophets to do with the monies of the church? When the Lord told the young man to go and sell all you have and give it to the poor and come follow me, did he tell some one else go and take all the interest earned and build a shopping mall and skyscrapers for wealthy people? If you spent $50 million on a temple you could build 80 of them. Since 1985 the Church has given about $1.2 billion in humanitarian aid and $4 billion to a shopping mall. It makes no sense to me. I love the Brethren, I sincerely do, and I trust them but I do not understand this. This is again the one thing I can't figure out. Was down town SLC really so bad that a $4 billion investment was needed? I just trust that it is for the best and the church won't be held accountable for grinding on the faces of the poor or encouraging the material objectification of false gods. The one good thought is that they basically built a city in a short amount of time. Maybe this will come to some good practice tobuild the New Jerusalem. I just hope we will be allowed to build it."
"The only problem I have with the condos is that I am uneasy with the symbolism of selling luxury condos that were explicitly designed to be above and looking down upon the temple. And those units sold first. It bugs me enough, but I don't know if I have any justification to be bothered."
"The same kind of attention and controversy was given to the construction of the new conference center. I remember it well. People called it a great and spacious building, too. After touring it once or twice, including the amazing roof top, and attending conference once, as well as participating in the men's choir, I can't disagree. It's all perspective. People see what they want to see, but seldom have insight to what happens behind the scenes."
"I believe that the City Creek Complex was of divine inspiration and at some point we'll see the wisdom in the building of it. I do believe it will provide some "protection" of the temple and the Saints at some future time."
"The problem I have with this whole thing is -Who cares if no tithing money was used, that it only came from for-profit investments. We are the Lord's church, not a for-profit business! Any extra money we have, reguardless of where it came from, should be used to bless the poor and needy and to spread the gospel to the world. It is pathetic that we have ONLY spent $1.2 billion in the last almost 30 years on humanitian aid and have just dropped $4 billion in the last 5years on a high end shopping mall and living space! The last time I read the parable of the talents all the returns realized on the money were the Lord's. I'm wondering when the returns on the Lord's tithing became investment money to be used on all kinds of money making projects, instead of going to the poor and needy. Makes me think of what Moroni said about us after the Lord showed us to him."
"From my perspective, the important thing is not what the church does with its money, but rather what we do because of it. If it only takes $3 billion for the Lord to divide the wheat from the tares, then that is money well spent in my book. I have a feeling that as time goes on there will be more and more policies and decisions come down from Salt Lake that will try our faith. This trial can only truly take place when reason is not a possible crutch to lean on. Then it will come down to whether or not we believe that the Lord leads us through his servants or not. And he said unto me: Knowest though the reason they built the mall? And I said unto him: I know that they are the Lord's chosen servants, nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."
"It really is difficult for me to understand the constant "questioning" here by some on the forum. You know, you can "thinK' anything you want, but you don't need to voice your thoughts about everything on the internet. Those concerns need to be taken to the Lord in prayer...and when I say that, I don't mean asking the Lord if the brethren are right...pleading with the Lord to be on the same page with them."
"I have no idea what the purpose of the complex is.....but it could be as simple as the Lord desiring to test who will murmur and who won't. In the past the Lord has tested his followers by asking them to suffer bondage, wander the wilderness, cross plains, and march on a dead end military expedition (Zion's camp). If a shopping mall is the toughest test I have to pass then I will consider myself lucky."
"I am just wondering when the late night cleaning asignments will come. Just like all the other church owned buildings in the downtown area, that we clean. That's a lot more work for those of us in the salt lake area."
"Let's go back to 1999 for a moment...What did the tornado hit or damage during its brief existence?
1. The outdoor retailers summer market (many men in the church make the outdoors a second religion and hunt for sport)
2. Gay bars (no explanation needed there)
3. The Delta Center (many Saints also make basketball a religion and have been known to attend playoff games on Sunday)
4. Hotels (many Hotels in Salt Lake offer porn)
5. Restaurants (fine dining)
6. State government offices (no explanation needed there)
7. The new LDS conference center (was undergoing construction at the time - some consider it to be a 'great and spacious building')
8. The Avenues (ritzy part of Salt Lake where the rich live, including many GA's)
Of those 8, what does the new City Creek Center offer? Retail shopping, alcohol, expensive lodging, fancy eateries, a highly expensive complex constructed by the church (just like the conference center was) and you could say it's also 'ritzy'. Quite interesting. Was this tornado just a freak, random act of nature... or something more? I think that answer is obvious."
This one is a doozy:
"Here's how I see it - One of the for-profit corps of the church spent a lot of money buying up land around the Temple and church headquarters and built some well constructed buildings to go there which they then leased out to a partner who then subleases to stores. The church then collects rent on those buildings to help recoup it's investment while the church waits for all hell to break loose. Once that happens and all the stores close (which they will!!) the church is left with a huge property it can use for it's own purposes which in the millennium would consist of redeeming the dead etc. I think it's genius and shows the foresight of our leaders regarding future events and just how near those events are. But that's my opinion! I don't see it as a shopping mall for long."
| City Creek Financials. Mormons Are Deluded. It's Never Going To Pay Them Back |
Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012, at 07:32 AM
Original Author(s): Captainmoroni
Topic: CITY CREEK CENTER -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| I've been hearing a lot of TBMs justify the mall by claiming that it is an "investment" that allows the church to pay out more for humanitarian aid. This is laughable. First of all, the church is spending 4 times as much on City Creek and related development as it has on all the humanitarian aid that the church has ever given out. And that is just the money spent on one mall! Think about how much tithing the church has used for all its other investments.
Secondly, if they think that they are going to be getting a return on their "investment" any time soon, they are fooling themselves. Today, on NPR's "Talk of the Nation", they aired a program where they predicted that the shopping mall is headed for major downsizing as an industry because of competition from Amazon.com and other online retailers. Some experts were predicting that as much as half of the current space in retailers will be gone in the coming decades. Why did God think this was a good investment again?
Thirdly, even if the mall business were stellar, there is no way that any mall operator is going to recoup 5 billion dollars from one mall anytime soon. Although the LDS church does not release its financials, we can get an idea of how much a mall makes for the operators by looking at the financial charts for Taubmann Co (the City Creek Mall operator). Remember, Taubmann owns dozens of malls across the United States. According to their stock charts, (http://ycharts.com/companies/TCO/perf...) they netted only 176 million dollars in the last year from all of their malls. And this was a really good year for them! They have been in the red for the four years before that. TBMs may not like science or history or anything else "worldly" for that matter, but they cannot deny the math. When the mall operator only makes 176 million dollars from dozens of malls, it doesn't look like City Creek is going to start paying them back in the next century.
| I've walked through there a couple of times since the opening.
The juxtaposition is striking: one the one hand, a shining momument to capitalism and high end consumerism. On the other hand, a 19th century monument to an Iron Age Jewish preacher who said "give away all your money and possession to the poor, follow me and you will have treasure in heaven."
City Creek Mall-Temple Square is a reflection of the contradictions inherent in mormonism and the greater world. It has quirky, weird and fascist elements all mixed up together.
Kind of like Mitt Romney.
| At some of the businesses in City Creek the sales are abysmal. Most surprising is Nordstroms, one of the mall's anchor stores where according to a friend who has been working there since it opened, the sales are way off. Consistently so. Many employees are leaving as they struggle to earn more than their $10.00 dollars an hour guarantee against commissions.
As a SLC resident I hear two complaints most often about the mall. First is that it's closed on Sundays which for most businesses is a prime shopping day and a source of revenue that offsets quieter weekdays. I find it amazing that major stores like Macy's and Nordstroms would agree to contracts that require them to be closed on Sundays. Makes you wonder how long it will take for the businesses to re-evaluate their contracts and demand that they be allowed to open on Sundays.
Second complaint and one that I particularly share is that only Nordstroms and Macy's offer parking validation. If you make purchases at any of the other businesses in City Creek you still have to pay the parking fees. Somebody was spending too much time with the crack pipe when they came up with this idea. The go-around of course is to wander into Nordstroms, which I have done, and ask for a parking validation which sales people there will give you because of their extraordinary customer service policies. No purchase necessary. Still, if I were to stop in at Tiffany's to purchase an expensive bauble for my boyfriend and couldn't get a parking validation from them it'd piss me off to have to run over to Nordstroms to get it.
On a purely aesthetic level I find City Creek Mall to be bland and architecturally uninteresting. The exception to that is the creek itself which runs through the mall and is beautifully crafted and provides welcome relief to the sheer ordinariness of its surroundings. With so much money invested it would seem to me the mormon church could have found more visionary architects who were capable of designing something more charming and interesting than a ward house on steroids.
No thanks City Creek. I will continue shopping at Gateway and support the merchants there who are open on Sunday and validate my parking. And damn, there are theaters at Gateway! I go to a movie on Saturday evening and then return Sunday to buy that pair of jeans that I saw in the window at Lucky Brand the night before.
If you're going to woo customers you have to give them what they want, not what you want them to have.
| The party line is that they wanted to revitalize downtown Salt Lake City. They didn't want their centerpiece temple, the one most associated with Mormonism, located in the middle of a ghetto. The mall that was there was struggling so they thought "tear it down and build a bigger and better one so that the whole area will seem more upscale.
They could have done a lot of things to make downtown Salt Lake nicer and more respectable but honestly, they already own such a big chunk of it that there was no immediate danger of it becoming a dump. Also, they could have built a perfectly nice mall for a lot less, if they hadn't been so used to outrageous overspending in their temple building.
And I don't think they have endless amounts of money - I think they are way out on a limb. Malls currently aren't doing that well with the economy and the many people shopping on line. No one much wants their overpriced, underquality condos. That's the reason budgets have been cut so much across the board and members are cleaning the wardhouse bathrooms. Probably why they have cut down the amount of time spent in the MTC and why they've changed the donation receipts to say that while they will TRY to spend the money where it is donated, they have the right to spend it whereever they see fit.
Personally, I won't shop at City Creek not out of some sort of formal boycott but because it would make me too sad to go there and think what the money might have been spent on - if the Mormon Church was really following the Savior as they claimed.
| Tiptoes, librarian and I went downtown today on a break from our sessions at the Exmormon Conference. Our destination - City Creek Mall, our question: what in God's name is here that's worth 5-8 Billion dollars???
To start with, security is everywhere and obvious. They are dressed like Canadian Mounties without the horse. Round hats and an overly helpful attitude. I say overly because I commented that the design of the granite walkways reminded me of the Machu Picchu drainage system, which prompted the mountie's response:
"I visited Chichen Itza last year and saw where they held the games. The sun shone in one hole for the beginning and when it shone in another one, the game was over. They would lay the loser out on a reclining naked woman statue, slit their throats and let their blood flow before they consumed them. Yes, they ate them!"
I backed away slowly, "Thanks for the TMI."
There was a nice crowd there on a Saturday, just a normal assortment of families, travelers, kids, teens, an errant skateboarder, just what you would see at any mall in America. Then we arrived at a blue stone map kiosk. Next to the "You Are Here" were the Rules. It was a Rosetta Stone of rules, going on and on, covering your dress, your speech, where you are sitting/standing, how you are sitting/standing and whether or not you are classified as an obstruction (decision made solely by mall security). It was far longer than the Ten Commandments.
I noticed that ALL of the high-end stores were empty except Tiffany's which had a looky-loo area and then an inner sanctum which was peekable from the outside. There was one strangely dressed, hatted couple in there looking like they could actually make a purchase.
We could not imagine what the billions was for except maybe for hidden machinery operating the slide-back dome, which the mountie described to us proudly in detail as to its coverage and functions. It might have been his idea, that's how proud he was.
The Apologie store had a hanging rock window display that was quite unusual and attractive. They hung rounded river rocks on kite string from the ceiling one at a time and formed a tunnel in which some object that was for sale was on display, lighted. The rock framing was so unique I don't remember what the product was (i.e. Fail).
We had free tea samples and I asked the server why they were serving tea when Mormons have the whole Word of Wisdom ban on tea. He answered quite promptly, "Mormons LOVE herbal tea, that's what this is--totally herbal and in complete compliance."
The surrounding streets were conspicuously empty for a Saturday night in an urban American city.
Now for the big Reveal: There is NO Neiman Marcus, so that's an urban myth or a plan which was canceled. Macy's and Nordstrum. That's it. And there are plenty of empty store fronts, mostly on the first floor, at least five there and a couple on the higher level. Deseret Book was huge, still publishing the same book with a different GA's name and title on it, but there has not been a new idea in a Mormon GA Book since Joseph Smith invented viagra.
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