Image via WikipediaWhen the announcement came that the Cottonwood Mall would be torn down and replaced by a new development, I was skeptical of how the development would be developed. It look as though General Growth properties basically let the mall die so they could turn around and redevelop and get tax dollars for the development (along with the tax savings they get by building a new development over a remodel).
Well I have kept an open mind that they would do something different, to set it apart from Gateway and blend the development into the rest of the community. We have seen way too many developments like Gateway that are designed to keep people within the complex and do not blend into the rest of the neighborhoods.
Today, I was asked to fill out a survey about what features I would look for if I were to purchase a home in the complex. First of all, in this age of high priced gas, there was no question in the survey about how important transit connections were so I included comments about that in the survey.
While it is too early to see how the development will blend into the community, it looks as though it will be another Gateway were it is easy to move around the development but you will be discouraged from leaving the area. The creek looks like it is designed to be a barrier to people heading to Highland drive. The sidewalks to cross the the creek are very narrow as to discourage people to walk across them.
While General Growth also said that it would like to invite locally owned stores to locate in the center, they made it clear that it would have to be an additional location for a successful high end location.
I do not expect the city of Holladay to do much to insure that the complex is blended into the community since they have show little in the way of good planning sense so far. Clearly this complex is designed for the Lexus and Mercedes crowd and not the UTA riding crowd even if those riders have given up their Lexus to take the bus.
New developments such as the one at the Cottonwood Mall need to be encouraged to blend better into the neighborhood, encourage transit access, and also consider some affordable units to give a better mix of housing options. While some developers see making the complex blend into the community as a bad thing because that encourages people to leave and go to other neighborhood stores, in the long run it will bring more people to the area because it will actually encourage more shoppers to the area because there is a wider range of shopping options.