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The City Journals

Holladay Hills development builds momentum

Apr 07, 2021 11:26AM ● By Zak Sonntag

Vertical construction set to begin on the former Cottonwood Mall site. (Zak Sonntag/ City Journals)

By Zak Sonntag | [email protected]

The Holladay Planning Commission in March unanimously approved the final subdivision plats for the remaining eight blocks of the 12-block Holladay Hills development at the former Cottonwood Mall site.

The move concludes the foundational footprints for the sub-sections of the 58-acre development, speeding up a process that was originally anticipated to happen in phases and allowing developers to focus on the next stages of the design approval. 

The project’s movement was welcomed by commissioners, who, like many in the community, have lamented the languished state of the site over the last decade and expressed excitement that plans are finally underway. 

“We’re excited to see stuff going on the site, and we’re looking forward to all this happening,” said commissioner Jan Bradshaw.

The subdivision plat is a rudimentary stage of the approval process that establishes streets and utility work, so future plans specifying the block’s functions and designs will need to return for the commission’s approval before beginning.

To date, only one of the 12 blocks has been approved for vertical development, and passersby can anticipate mixed-use buildings beginning to ascend on the northwest corner of the former mall site, which is Block D. The developers—a partnership between the Woodbury Corporation, Millrock Capital, LLC and Ball Ventures—consider the Holladay Hills a “legacy project, which will include living and office space, along with dining, shopping and entertainment options and a central park for gatherings,” according to the group’s public relations officer Amanda Butterfield, who spoke with the City Journals in February.

The group anticipates the full development reaching completion within the next five to 10 years. 

Developers hope that the project will reflect their efforts to glean community input and repair the location’s tarnished associations after the infamous 2018 “Holladay Quarter” project, which relied on a staggering rezone that residents fought tooth-and-nail before finally defeating in a referendum vote that was ultimately upheld by the state supreme court, who ruled the rezone to be of such breadth that it constituted a legislative as opposed to administrative decision and was therefore subject to referendum results.

“We learned so much from meeting with Holladay residents [after the failed Holladay Quarter], and we continue to learn from their ideas and comments on this property,” explained Woodbury vice president Jeff Woodbury when speaking with the Holladay Journal after the Holladay Hills initial approval back in 2019.

After the referendum, the area reverted to the 2007 Site Development Master Plan (SDMP), which makes it “referendum proof,” as councilmembers have said. The Holladay Hills was approved in accordance with the SDMP in 2019.

“It’s really great that things are finally moving there,” said planning commissioner Marianne Ricks.