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Salt Lake City Council approves Miracle Network loan

$2.5 million will be used on renovation of new headquarters

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The Alpine Bank building will become the national headquarters for the Children's Miracle Network.

The Alpine Bank building will become the national headquarters for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News

The Children's Miracle Network was on the receiving end of financial assistance this week, getting a $2.5 million loan from Salt Lake City's Redevelopment Agency.

Acting in its capacity as the RDA board of directors Tuesday, the Salt Lake City Council approved the nonprofit group's request for a neighborhood business loan to continue renovating the old Alpine Bank building at 710 S. 200 West.

The 38,500-square-foot building is being renovated to serve as the new national headquarters for the Children's Miracle Network, which for 25 years has provided charitable funding for children's hospitals.

"I think it's a great project," city Councilman Van Turner said. "It's long overdue ... It's going to be really good for that neighborhood."

The $2.5 million will come from the RDA's revolving loan fund, with 3 percent interest and 20-year amortization. Total cost of the renovation project is $5.4 million.

Deborah Golden-Gestner, a Children's Miracle Network consultant, said the new location will create nearly 300 new jobs at 120 percent of median salary. In addition, the charitable organization will be able to host board meetings and training sessions at the refurbished facility, brining in hospital partners from around North America.

Of the 170 hospitals affiliated with Children's Miracle Network, about 125 of those are located east of the Mississippi, Golden-Gestner said.

"We're going to be bringing in 200 to 300 people a month," she said. "We're going to bring a lot of activity to Salt Lake City."

The Children's Miracle Network also has applied for a $2 million federal grant through the Brownsfields Economic Development Initiative, designed to assist cities with the redevelopment of abandoned or underused commercial facilities burdened by environmental contamination.

Golden-Gestner said significant ground contamination was uncovered at the site, and the group is "very confident" it will receive the grant.

A $4 million loan secured by Salt Lake County's future Community Development Block Grant funds is also pending.

Children's Miracle Network hospitals treat about 17 million children each year. The nonprofit group serves its hospitals by raising funds to pay for life-saving equipment, charity care and research.

E-mail: jpage@desnews.com