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Cement woes freeze up Renaissance Town Centre

Bountiful officials and developer anxious to move project forward

A computer-generated design of the future Renaissance Town Center office-over-retail building C on the site of the old Five Points Mall.
A computer-generated design of the future Renaissance Town Center office-over-retail building C on the site of the old Five Points Mall.
Bruce Broadhead

The subdivision plat has been recorded. The building plans are approved. But developer Bruce Broadhead, of Broadhead and Associates, said phase III of the Renaissance Town Centre in Bountiful is on hold due to cement shortages.

"We have been trying to start construction for the last few weeks on phase III," Broadhead said.

Renaissance Town Centre sits on the old Five Points Mall site on 20 acres from 1800 South to about 1450 South in Bountiful just east of Highway 68.

Contrary to a story in a local weekly paper, Aric Jensen, Bountiful's planning, economic and redevelopment director, told the Deseret Morning News that he isn't frustrated with the progress of the development.

"We are working hard to make Renaissance come to fruition," Jensen said. "We want it to happen."

The city has invested $4 million into the project for a parking garage. It has pledged $400,000 a year until 2015 for the parking structure. When other buildings are built it may invest more.

"We have to catch up," Jensen said. "In other words, we have so much tax increment finance coming in based on the office space and the fitness center (across the street). They generate tax increment right now, but the tax increment is less than what we are paying on the parking structure. As soon as additional buildings are built and generating tax increment, anything above that $400,000 will be put into the RDA on a fixed schedule."

Jensen said the Redevelopment Agency and Bountiful City Council, which have the same members, wish the project would move faster but, that is normal for a project.

Phase III calls for the construction of three buildings, B, C and D. The plans for buildings B and C have been approved by the city and will include office-over-retail style buildings.

Mike Grass of Broadhead's public relations firm, Intrepid Group, said he and Broadhead were surprised by the recent reported Bountiful frustrations because the building plans were only approved roughly a month and a half ago.

"It hasn't been long, and we're showing action," Grass said. "We're showing plans that are in the works. The wheels are in motion, and so that shows that the Renaissance Town Centre is moving forward."

Broadhead said he's been hearing from concrete companies that the shortage will see some relief as soon as the cold weather hits the state and big road projects are shut down for the winter. He said the key to a project is selecting the right kind of tenants and doing the job in a first-class manner.

"Because if you don't, and you just hurry up and do a project, it's there for years with all of its imperfections and obstacles," Broadhead said.

Broadhead said buildings B and C in phase III, along with the fitness center and the medical office, create a backdrop and give strength to support a restaurant. Building D of phase III is designed to be a restaurant. Broadhead said his company is talking with restaurants.

"The retail component of this project and the restaurant component has not progressed as fast as we thought it would, but it is progressing," Broadhead said. "And we will continue to progress with the actions and with the time that we've spent. The public just hasn't seen it yet."

Additional restaurants, retail businesses and a movie theater are part of the plans for phases IV and V of the project.

On the north side of the project, an Xcel Fitness Center was built and a Wells Fargo was updated during phase II of the project. During phase I a medical office and 484 parking stalls were built.

"What we've done has been quite remarkable to date in the officing and the entertainment area," Broadhead said. "The retail has been slower coming on, but we're in a position now to move it forward. We've got good reception for these buildings (B and C) in the pre-leasing. We're anxious to build them."