You can soon shop for shoes, watch a movie and see a judge within walking distance of Sandy's biggest mall, the South Towne Center.

Three days after dignitaries break ground at the Towers of South Towne - a multimillion-dollar office park in South Jordan - they'll cross I-15 into Sandy for ceremonies commemorating the construction of a new 3rd Circuit Court complex.The $3.5 million, two-story judicial building will be built at 10000 S. State St., in an area now considered Salt Lake Valley's southern hub.

"It (the site) was chosen because ground was available, it is going to be the site of commercial development, and it is easily accessible from the freeway and State Street," said Paul Platt, assistant administrator, state court administrators office. "Plus, it was an economical site for us to purchase."

Platt said the new 35,000-square-foot court complex will be in a strategic location - particularly if the new Sandy City Hall is also built near the South Towne Center.

The Sandy City Planning Commission is supporting construction of the proposed $7.8 million City Hall on city-owned property near the retail mall. So are some residents.

"Ninety percent of the opinions expressed to me have been in favor of South Towne Center," said Sandy Mayor Larry Smith. "But is that just a select group of the business community, or does it reflect the opinion of the public? The only way we'll know is to put it out to the public."

Smith said he's proposed to council members that they not be specific with a site location at this point but do an opinion poll on the ballot to facilitate residents' input.

While the South Towne area may not be the residential center of Sandy, Smith says it's fast becoming the business hub of Sandy.

"In fact, we hope it's becoming the business hub of the whole valley," Smith said.

During the past two years, business has boomed along the 10600 South corridor. A Hampton Inn and several other commercial and retail establishments have recently been built on the east side of I-15. Another inn will soon be constructed across the freeway in South Jordan.

And, according to Sandy government officials, the South Towne Center - currently constructing a new JC Penney store - is also negotiating with Montgomery Ward and Mervyns to anchor there.

"We have always planned to expand South Towne Center, and we are going forward with those plans," said said Marcy Carter, vice president of marketing and communication for Equity Properties and Development Co. in Chicago. "We don't have anything definitive to announce yet. We are still talking to a number of different retailers who are very interested in the Sandy market and the South Towne Center."

The badly needed court complex is scheduled to be completed in late 1992 or January 1993.

"Throughout the state - especially along the Wasatch Front - the courts are expanding, and the current court facilities in the Sandy City Hall are inadequate," Platt said. "Right now there is one judge who sits in Murray who handles some of the cases that normally would be heard in Sandy."

Platt said construction of a new court, which will also house juvenile court probation, has been planned for some time. The South Towne area won out as the best place to build it.

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Groundbreakings

- Celebrate the commencement of construction of building No. 1 of the South Towne Office Park on Friday, Sept. 6, at 4 p.m. at 400 W. 10600 South in South Jordan.

- Join state and local dignitaries in breaking ground for the new 3rd Circuit Court complex on Monday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m. Ceremonies will be held in the South Towne Center, 10450 S. State St., Sandy, after which participants will be bused to the construction site.