Provo Towne Centre mall will start looking different by the summer.
This is the promise made by Brixton Capital, the new owners of the mall.
“We are very excited about the project and wish we were further along in making it the center of the community,” said Craig Pettitt, assets manager. “There are fairly significant things to look forward to by next summer.”
Pettitt noted that in its 20 years in Provo, the former owners had not done anything to upgrade the mall.
“The empty pad sites are brutal,” said Mayor John Curtis. “The two owners were different philosophically. When it comes to announcements, one likes splash, and the other is subdued.”
Curtis noted the city would like to have made big announcements of what is happening at the mall, but Brixton Capital is more quiet about its plans and, when ready, will surprise people with the announcements.
Pettitt said an architectural firm has been hired and has turned in three versions of what could end up being a 2-, 5- or 10-year process.
However, residents should not expect the same type of changes that are currently occurring at University Place in Orem. For now, they can keep an eye out for additional restaurants and the entrances to get a new look.
Pettitt did suggest there are multiple negotiations going on with potential new tenants.
“We’re trying to prepare for now and plan for the future,” Pettitt said. “We want to make this the first choice to shop, dine and entertain.”
That idea might come to fruition with a newly planned family play area to be built out from the Red Robin/Wingers entrance.
After a market survey, Pettitt said they are going to attract more families and high-tech customers.
Restaurant pads will be built outside as well as added inside the mall. However there is not an expectation to see as much change inside the mall as there will be outside.
Pettitt said stores are doing well at the centre, including JC Penney which he said has the highest sales of any JC Penney store in Utah.
“The basic design of the centre is inviting,” Pettitt said. “Outside is changing with more exterior upgrades.”
Pettitt says for now their main focus is to attract additional merchants, plan family events that engage them, and make the Provo Towne Centre the first thought for where people want to shop.
“I’m confident the mall will take on more character,” Curtis said.
Substantial building is going on throughout the city. The city’s website says, “With a $16 billion economy and home to the third-largest private college, Brigham Young University, Forbes has ranked Provo as the best place in America for business and careers.”
To that end, a significant announcement is expected to be made in the coming week concerning new developments at The Mix at Rivers Edge property on University Parkway where the Plumtree Plaza is located. Nicknamed "The Mix," it is a major mixed-used development of retail, business, housing and hotel with new and existing restaurants.
"We're excited about unveiling new class A business buildings so close to BYU," said Brandon Fugal, CBC Advisors. "Our hope is to work with technology transfer programs at BYU. This will truly be a walkable community."
Fugal added that the advantage to Brigham Young University students having business offices so close and walkable to the university would also provide jobs in technology and research, which is significant to the area.
To recount the many things being built and developed in Provo, take a look below:
— Hyatt Place Hotel at 100 North and Freedom Boulevard is expected to break ground by the first of the year and start servicing customers in early 2018. It will feature approximately 180 rooms.
— The former R.C. Willey at 200 North and 100 West will be razed in early 2017 to make way for a development that is still being actively negotiated.
— South of the Shops at Riverwoods is an open field that has been vacant since a fire destroyed old condominiums. Recently a proposal was presented to neighbors featuring a high-density housing idea. The idea was rejected. Developers are currently redesigning the project and working with neighbors before advancing to the Planning Commission.
— City View Apartments at 200 South and University Avenue will feature 159 units of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Crews are currently working on footings and underground parking. Completion is expected in 2018.
— Liberty Place mixed-use housing and retail is nearing completion at 300 West and Center Street. It should be completed in the first half of 2017.
— The Fourth District Court building between 100 and 200 North on Freedom Boulevard on the west side is getting the underground parking, infrastructure and footings completed. It will be completed in 2019.
— The Utah Valley Hospital expansion on 500 West between 800 and 1200 North is well on its way with two 12-story buildings topped off and looking at a 2018 completion date.
— Duncan Aviation expansion at the Provo Airport begins next spring with a 2018 completion date.
— LDS Missionary Training Center addition and courtyard at 900 East and University Parkway is on target for a 2017 completion.
— Brigham Young University’s engineering building is going up and will be completed in late 2018. Look to the near future for changes within the next five years at the Harris Fine Arts building on campus and the current Provo High School location at University Avenue and Bulldog Boulevard.
— Mountain Vista Business Park in south Provo has two more completed buildings to add to the existing handful of businesses. A substantial amount of land has been purchased and residents will see buildings going up in 2017.
Discussion of development wouldn’t be complete without noting the massive changes that will be taking place on the west side of Provo. The needs of the west side of Provo are nearly the same as if Provo was building a small city, according to members of the Provo Municipal Council.
To that end, the council has developed a large committee of city leaders, stakeholders and residents to help in the design. The importance of the committee is evident by the number involved. It will be one of the major high-functioning committees of the city. It is also fulfilling one of the nine council priorities.
Street design and zoning is just one of numerous concerns for residents, developers and stakeholders on the west side.
At present, the new Provo High School is under construction, approximately 1,200 single-family homes are in various stages of buildout, the west side connector road from Interstate 15 to the airport just opened, and farmers completing this year’s harvest are hoping they have a place as the west side looks to the future.