Skip to main content

The City Journals

Progress being made on Murray Downtown redevelopment

May 07, 2018 04:07PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

MCCD 2: The Murray Chapel (left) and Murray Mansion were acquired by Murray City as part of its downtown makeover. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

In his state of the city address, Mayor Blair Camp displayed a news article from 1978 discussing Murray’s plans for the Murray City Center District (MCCD). Forty years and five mayors later, change is finally starting to happen in Murray’s downtown redevelopment project.

 “I believe that the construction of the new city hall in the redevelopment area will spawn new interest in private development on the remaining property, including the State Street frontage,” Camp said.  Downtown Murray needs revitalization. The Desert Star Theater brings hundreds of people to the downtown area each week, and we need to complement that outstanding amenity with other downtown attractions.”

The first project slated is the new fire station that will be built west of its current location, on the corner of 4800 South and Box Elder Street. “We are hoping to begin construction on the new fire station by July of 2018,” said Tim Tingey, director of Administrative and Development Services.

The city is working through environmental remediation issues on the site with the State of Utah and finalization of the property acquisition with the Utah Transit Authority. Murray will be bidding the project out soon and it is projected to cost between $5.8 and $7 million. The building will include multiple bays for fire apparatus/equipment and office space for fire department administration.

Part of the impetus to relocate the fire station is the planned extension of Hanauer Street (just west of State Street) from the north; the street would pass right through the current fire station location. The Hanauer Street extension is a project that went through a public input and planning process more than seven years ago. The process included a partnership between the State of Utah, Salt Lake County, and Murray City to eventually facilitate another north/south connection from Main Street to the Cottonwood overpass to relieve traffic impacts on State Street. Murray is on the hook for building its part in the MCCD area from 4800 South to Vine Street and will likely begin construction in the summer of 2019.

“The timing on the remaining part of the project all depends on funding sources obtained through the State and County. We anticipate the cost of the section we will be building, including utilities, to be around $2 million,” said Tingey.

The plan for the Murray Mansion is to apply for state grants to do an assessment and for capital costs to make needed improvements. According to Tingey, “The future use has not been determined but may include office space or a possible museum site.”

As for the historic Murray Chapel, the funding sources to make needed repairs and plans for future use have not been determined. The plan for the Murray Theater is to seek grant funding for repairs and enhancements and then utilize the space as an art center, which may include hosting a variety of events including concerts, plays, dance productions, and the future possibility for use as a Sundance Film Festival venue.

The city is making progress in finalizing the acquisition of the properties for the new city hall. Tingey stated, “We are also working with an independent consultant to outline the vision for the site and buildings. We will then work with an architectural firm for design and concepts. Our plan is then to have public input processes on the plans. We hope to be under construction in the fall of 2019.”

In addition to new and renovated civic and commercial structures, the city is also planning high-density residential living space. There were two plans approved by the planning commission for lower level commercial and upper-level senior apartments on the current soccer building site on Box Elder Street. However, the new owners have made known their intent to change those plans.