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News Blog

LDS Church takes another bite of downtown

by Jesse Fruhwirth
- Posted // 2010-01-21 -

I'm not sure how to process this news that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has purchased another 3 acres of downtown property, this time at North Temple and 400 West. On the one hand, they are undeniably savvy businessmen so it's a good sign that they believe an investment in Salt Lake City is a good one. On the other hand, what are the consequences of one owner owning so much of our city?

Also, when does the buying spree stop? As has been reported, the LDS Church had previously said they had no plans to purchase more of downtown, but that position has obviously been revised. 

You remember earlier this month when the LDS Church bought the 13-acre parking lot previously owned/underused by Sinclair Oil magnate Earl Holding. There's a great map by the Salt Lake Tribune at that link which shows you all the property the church now owns.

Here's a few thoughts.

I've had several discussions with people smarter than myself about how long the LDS Church condo developments within the City Creek properties will remain (almost?) exclusively Mormon. Some people think the "LDS standards" will be persistent. I've heard stories of neighbors in LDS Church-owned buildings being harassed even for the smell of brewed coffee wafting through the hallways.

But I've also known non-Mormon people who live in LDS Church-owned residential buildings who received no complaints, nor had any of their own. 

Then again, if the church plans to manage City Creek, whatever comes of the 400 South parking lot downtown, and whatever they plan to do with this North Temple parking lot the same way they manage Main Street Plaza, Salt Lakers may have 16 fewer acres on which they can hold hands with and kiss their same-sex partner, or whatever new crusade the church may choose to pursue.

Time will tell.  

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Posted // January 23,2010 at 15:33

It doesn't surprise me that the church has purchased additional property in the downtown area, or any area for that matter.

What would surprise me is if they were offered "a piece of the pie" and didn't take advantage of the opportunity to push their views on more unsuspecting citizens.

The church has always had their hands in the pot, this is nothing new. They will continue their attempt to take over the entire state until they have it all.

Is anyone really shocked by this????!!!

C'mon people, let's get realistic here.... we all know what the long term plan is.... and always has been... wake up and smell the coffee....... or should I say smell the BULL!!

Watch out, it's getting deep!!


Posted // January 21,2010 at 16:15

What might hurt is loss of tax revenue. Churches and education institutions are exempt from paying property tax, right?


Posted // January 22,2010 at 08:09 - Ooooh, good point. Does anyone know the regulations on that?


Posted // January 21,2010 at 13:49

Let's just face it and admit that SLC will soon be the LDS equivalent to the Vatican. I'd be bummed but for the fact that once that occurs, I'll finally be done remodling my SLC home, and will be able to sell it to one of the flock for millions.


Posted // January 21,2010 at 13:46

The church wants to build a campus for the LDS business college. It will stretch from temple square to the triad center along north temple. Exciting and top secret .... huh. Until it can secure all the property along north temple they can aquire and sit on other property so the money doesn't sit dormant earning nothing.