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Posted by: Pathway ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 07:16PM

I recently was passing through Salt Lake as part of a family vacation. We had to stop at the City Creek Mall to get a phone fixed at the Apple store there. It was on warranty so it did not cost us anything.

I do not live in Utah and was appalled like so many others when I first heard that the Church financed this mall. It was something quite different when I was actually there.

A Church building a mall that caters to the rich. Tiffany's, Rolex, two square blocks of beauty, fountains, sculptures, and stores that only the rich can afford. Indeed a great and spacious building. The Apple store employee even made the comment "I just work here, I can't afford to shop here."

I came away even more disgusted, that a group of people claiming to be prophets and apostles spent their part of their supposedly full time ministry representing Christ discussing the investment potential of a mall. If Trump, or Cuban, or some billionaire, or investment company had financed this..oddly, it would not have bothered me as much..but for a supposed representative of Christ to be putting in effort to make this happen...just shaking my head.

I know that members of the Church defended this move by saying it wasn't tithing money. I don't care. Christ was never in the business of creating money changing marketplaces next to the Temple.

Some have pushed for the Church to lose it's tax exempt status. I'd prefer something a little different. I think the Church should completely divest itself from any for profit holdings. Prophets and Apostles should not have seats on the Board of Directors for any for profit companies. If the two are truly separate, then truly separate them.

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Posted by: dogbloggernli ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 07:25PM

Its chain store hell. Nothing unique or different about what you can get there.

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 07:27PM

Shitty Creek is very much part of the Mormon prosperity gospel. It also plays into its foundational myths that Mormons made the desert blossom as a rose, and look what we did with Utah—a place nobody else wanted.

I rarely go to malls—especially Shitty Creek. There’s no coffee shops (except by Nordstrom’s) and no decent bookstore. $300 jeans, and other luxury goods, are definitely not me.

As for the “no tithing money,” sure...just investments funded by tithing money.

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Posted by: dogbloggernli ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 07:32PM

I speculate that the stores there only stay for free or discounted rents. Brick and mortar stores of that type arent making enough sales in the SLC economy to otherwise justify their presence. I suspect that it is only rent subsidy that keeps that mall open. We do know that Apple and a few others only came for free rent initially. I expect that never ended.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 09:48PM

I believe that the church paid for the construction of the mall as it went along so that there is no mortgage. I would not be surprised if the tax situation was structured so that it was indexed to the income generated, and not to straight on taxation of the land value.

These two items would thus allow your 'free and/or reduced rents'. And I wonder if they self-insure as to the structures? I doubt they would self-insure as to liability exposures.

So the overhead paid by the church and/or Taubman is their only really outlay of cash; they can even take a financial hit given their deep pockets, and just call it the cost of looking good.

Not having to pay any rent, or reduced rent is likely the only thing keeping the storefronts occupied.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 02:34AM

We have a beautiful outdoor mall and condo/apartment development where I live. You could tell when the initial round of leases were up because all of a sudden three stores and a restaurant went empty and stayed empty. The new leases must be doozies.

There are also two department stores in town that will likely take quite some time to lease. A former big box store was rented out to a rather dubious enterprise that I doubt will make it past the first lease term.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 07:33PM

She hates that they built the mall and I think it is one of the huge issues on her giant shelf.

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Posted by: Hockeyrat ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 07:38PM

This is disgusting. If I was a still a member when they built this, I would of quit on this alone. It definitely screams cult and business corporation.

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Posted by: JoeSmith666 ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 07:57PM

If Victoria's Secret had changed their name to Victoria's Sacred they would be there.

The mall is right by "a little bit of Paris"... Remember that one for the sale of a block of Main Street to L-d$,inc/MoronicPriesthood Central?

The Temple clearly teaches Satan is the God of This World. You even wear HIS apron all the way into the Celestial Room. The first commandment is not "follow the prophet". It is "follow the money".

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 06:20AM

"Maybe" if TSCC were to sex up its garments and name a boutique Victoria's Garments (after buying the rights from Victoria's Secret to be able to do that!) that might fly at City Creek Mall.

It could have an adjacent men's undies store named "Victor's Garments" for the discriminating gentlemen ...

No peeping allowed !!!!!

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Posted by: CrispingPin ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 08:02PM

The claim that no tithing money was used for the mall is meaningless. No matter what category members choose when filling out their donation slip, TSCC will use the funds any way they choose.

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Posted by: Hockeyrat ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 05:44PM

Yeah, right! No members, no members money, no mall.Its still coming out of money that members contributed to. Like in politics, they just call something else by a different name. It’s not “ tithing”, but comes from tithing money

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 10, 2019 09:25PM

We stopped and had lunch there on our recent visit to SLC last month, in the food court. My son wasn't very impressed, but ended up eating at the Mexican restaurant, and I bought lunch from the Israeli cafe.

We were given a packet of coupons at the guest booth in the mall, where if we spent $150 shopping we'd be given a "gift" for our splurge. Fat chance of that happening. There was nothing there that interested me nor did we plan on shopping.

We looked around, and left. We toured Temple Square, and the Tabernacle, and Church History Museum. That was interesting. The flowers were in full bloom, and there was a neat art exhibit at the art museum. One of my classmates I grew up with in Idaho older sister had a sculpture on display that was a "Notable Mention" of a pioneer woman. I thought that was really cool. I knew her when we were kids. Now she's like 69 years old! :)

I still remember the City Creek Mall when it was the old ZCMI, and its "bargain basement" where we'd go bargain hunting when I was a youngster with my parents &/or grandmother. As a teenager I went there with a classmate from high school when we played hooky once and to go shopping at the former Auerbach's (that's no longer in downtown SLC either, but was the first department store *and* owned and operated by a Jewish family.)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2019 09:29PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: memikeyounot ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 12:20AM


My aunt Leona (and I've mentioned her before) worked as a ladies seamstress as Auerbach’s on the corner of 300 S /State Street. She was the middle of 3 sisters(my mom was youngest) who all had red hair. She was married to Wayne Hansen. They lived in Copperton where he worked for Kennecott Copper and Leona rode the bus from Copperton to work downtown at Auerbach’s. He worked until 3pm and would drive down to pick her up. She was retired by the time Auerbach’s opened stores at Cottonwood Mall and Fashion Place, mid 70’s but she said that Aurebach’s would never make them work out. And she was right.

Here’s a photo that I grew up with, on the wall of my mothers bedroom.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 01:28PM

Wow, I love their hairdos! A throwback to the glamour of yesteryear.

Nice looking women, all of them. :)

I was reading last night where Auerbach's opened its second and third stores in Corinne, and Ogden respectively. Guess there was a time in the 1800's when Corinne was giving SLC and Ogden a run for their money?

ZCMI came after Auerbach's did and in essence competed for their business.

The "bargain basement" sales of both department stores in Ogden and Salt Lake City were my favorite sales floors to hit whenever I visited either store when visiting them. In those days you really could find some good bargains. :)

I remember going shopping with my grandmother and parents at either ZCMI or Auerbach's when I was a kid. I really wanted the fringe leather handbag, but my mom wouldn't buy it for me. Lo and behold my grandmother did. Bless her heart. I treasured that handbag, wearing it to school, Primary and Sunday School. It was a fashion statement. Best of all, it was not a find in the bargain basement!

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Posted by: Bicentennial Ex ( )
Date: July 14, 2019 12:02AM

The history of George Auerbach's wife Beatrice Fox is quite

"After marrying George Auerbach in 1911, Beatrice moved to
Salt Lake City where his family owned a department store."

The story continues in Hartford.


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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 14, 2019 09:21AM

Thank you for sharing her bio here. She was a most amazing woman in her own right!

Just a few of the very important contributions she made from the link provided: "Auerbach was a labor reform pioneer, instituting the five-day, 40-hour work week, retirement plans and paid sick leave." Where does one begin to say thank you to this little known heroine who did so much out of love for other people?

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Posted by: I usually like malls ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 03:48AM

The redheads are adorable!!! Thanks for showing us.

I had been to City Creek Mall once before, in an honest effort to give it a chance. I went with friends, who were shopping, and they bribed me with a Cherry Garcia ice cream cone. (Ben and Jerry's is no longer there.) The mall was deserted, and the canned music echoed off of the concrete. There was too much walking--a giant empty courtyard separated all the shops, and the elevated cement walkways prevented any cutting across to get to the store of your choice. My shopper friends ended up bying NOTHING. It was a bunch of high-end, overpriced stores that offered nothing useful. We're moms, and need clothes that don't require dry-cleaning, shoes we can run after kids in, clothes we can wear to work. Tiffany's? Get real.

Went there again, a couple of weeks ago, as I was downtown, anyway, and agreed to return something at JJill, for a friend. Maybe I was thinking it was like the old ZCMI mall, and I could just zip in and out. I called the store ahead of time, and got directions where to park, what elevator to take, etc. All I saw was an ugly parking garage--windowless like all Mormon structures. I got claustrophobia, even though the place was nearly empty. The air inside was hot, humid, and stifling, and it wasn't even a hot day. I accidentally took an escalator, thinking it would at least lead me to an opening into the mall, or to a vantage point. All it led to was more escalators, and more after that. Finally, I asked the only person I saw, if there was an elevator somewhere, and she gave me directions. The elevator opened onto a dark, narrow concrete hallway that smelled of urine. I walked past the bathrooms, and out a door, onto an elevated cement walkway. Is this how the fancy ladies get to Neiman Marcus? There was still no outlook, as all I could see were the cement walls of the other walkways--no store-fronts or display windows. These were the first-impression views of the mall that customers get.

I had to go to the concrete wall at the edge, in order to see anything, and below was an empty cement courtyard with a "fountain" of streams of water coming out of pipes in the concrete. No chairs or tables, that I could see. No landscaping there. No people, except some kids wading in the water. I did clearly see the sign JJill above one of the doors. I was the only one in the store, yet the salesperson told me to wait, while she finished folding some clothes. By then, I was laughing--this is a Mormon mall in Utah, and this is the way Utah Mormons treat people.

While finding my car again, I got turned around for only a second, but panic set in. My feet were starting to hurt, and the stifling air was making me feel ill. What if I got trapped in there, having to walk for hours, to find my car? I did remember the code for my parking area, but it indicated only the general ball-park area, and there were no points of reference, N,S,E,W, and the area was enormous. LOL, for idiots like me, there was also a color and a picture of an animal. I couldn't even tell what animal it was--something like an ant-eater or a tapir. On my way out, I was grateful I lived here and could remember which street I had come in from. All of the exit gates were unmanned--there was no one there to help me, if my validation didn't work, and, again, I felt the panic of being trapped. I'm usually not a fearful person, and love to explore, but when that gate opened to let me out, I felt elated! I never want to go there again. How could anyone stand to live there? I pity those who work there.

Maybe I missed something both times--I was eager to just get out of there--but I didn't see any beautiful sculptures or "creek."

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 01:41PM

I didn't care much for the parking garage either. If not for my son, he was my eyes to help me find it even in the section where we parked.

There are barely any shoppers in that mall. With the expensive stores I don't know how it can stay in business.

The food court looked like it does a good business but then everybody needs to eat, and the prices are decent for downtown Salt Lake at noontime.

There are so many other food options near there. My son had taken the Trax his first day while waiting for my plane to land, and had eaten downtown someplace else. He wasn't thrilled with City Creek Mall at all. But settled on it because I didn't feel like walking all over downtown.

We did do quite a bit of walking anyhow.

After we left there we went to the City Hall area where the fantastic city library is. We rode the elevator to the top to look out over the city. That was great. I saw the old Montefiore Orthodox synagogue from that vantage point, and I knew the former B'nai Israel Reform synagogue where my great and great great grandmothers used to go with my grandmother over 100 years ago, was right around the corner from that Montefiore synagogue.

So after we left that gorgeous library, we located the former B'nai Israel synagogue, currently a historic downtown landmark building and an interior design studio. We were given permission to tour inside and take photographs. :) The stained glass windows were the same as when my grandmother went there with her mother and grandmother, and so is the crown molding interior and staircases/mezzanine.

From there we found Trader Joe's downtown, close to the B'nai Israel. That is also close to the Trolley Square Shopping Mall. That is a cool mall to look around, but also very upscale and pricey.

Compared to City Creek Mall I liked it better. It has more charm. And an antique store my grandmother would have loved.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 05:58PM

I like JJill's clothing, but it's out of my price range.

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 02:58PM

Yeah, I make a point of not shopping there when I'm in SLC. Preferring Gateway or Trolley Square instead.

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Posted by: Bamboozled ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 03:12PM

I was also recently at City Creek. I'll give it credit that it is a nice facility but I still can't wrap my head around why the church would fund a temple to mammon across the street from the heart of their empire. OK, I get they want to control the area around Temple Square, but high end snooty stores?

Side note - I know they are winding down Temple Square with the impending refurbishing/reconstruction but there was literally nothing to see in either the north or south visitors centers. The downstairs areas were closed off. Even the Tabernacle and Conference Center were closed for some kind of choir competition. The sister missionaries were wandering around with nothing to do. This is the high peak of the tourist season and the church from all accounts has already checked out at Temple Square.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 06:44AM

We were able to get inside the tabernacle while visiting there toward the end of June. It was open to tourists. There were a handful of choir members sitting in their seats practicing,, and a handful of tourists wandering around taking photos and just taking it in.

It was the first visit for my son who had never been to downtown Salt Lake City before to see some of the landmark sights. I only wish we had more time to have been able to do more than we did, or we would have driven more places and gone outside that scope of area. I'd have loved to have driven up to Bear Lake for a day or two and shown him around there, but it's a difficult drive and we didn't have much time. I wanted to show him where my grandmother was born, and where her father (a Civil War veteran is buried. I placed a tombstone on his grave three summers ago, after learning he'd gone 127 years without one, and his infant daughter. Now he has a really nice one, with his Civil War Service listed on the back.) Bear Lake is so beautiful in the summertime. That is a lovely tourist destination. People flock there from all over the world just to see it. When I was there in the Spring of 2016 I shared the hotel with two couples from Israel who were traveling through on their way to visit Bear Lake.

But my rental car was an upgrade to a Cadillac! After my rental company had lost my reservation by the time I got to the airport after a long delay by my airline that day. It's apology to me was instead of charging me full price on a downgrade because I'd booked my car a month ahead of time, was the manager gave me a Cadillac for my troubles at less than the car I'd initially booked one month beforehand.

I looked at my son and asked him, "Do you believe that?" He looked back at me and said, "You earned it." :) That was the first and may be the last time I'll ever drive a Cadillac, but it could have driven us anywhere. Heck, maybe I should've called in sick for a few more days and extended my vacation. My son might've had a fit though. He had to be back at his job.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2019 06:48AM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 03:16PM

I have never been to the synagogues, and plan to go!

We still like Trolley Square. Williams-Sonoma is fun, but my favorite mid-priced clothing shops are gone, and there are a lot of vacant store spaces. Gateway has a much nicer feel to it, but a lot of those stores have closed down or moved to City Creek.

Yes, there must be some incentive to make these stores move to City Creek mall.

Malls, in general, are not doing very well, everywhere. We prefer the outlets in Park City, to the city malls. The parking lot is nicer than the "terrifying" City Creek parking garage, and the stores are right next to each other, and near your car, so there's less walking. The salespeople seem nicer and happier.

This is OT, because it seems like Mormons are always grouchy, and the Mormon influence on architecture and appeal is "institutional minimalist" or "giganticism", like their ugly temples. Not inviting or welcoming.

I agree that Mormon architecture leaves out the windows. A plain wall is 10 times cheaper than having a window there. That's why.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 03:31PM

> I agree that Mormon
> architecture leaves
> out the windows. A
> plain wall is 10
> times cheaper than
> having a window there.
> That's why.

You make mormonism sound so cheap, so tawdry!

(I said Jenny Diver...
Whoa, Suki Tawdry,
Look out to Miss Lotte Lenya
And ole' Lucy Brown.)

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 05:57PM

I like outlet shopping as well. I have one particular outlet store that suits my budget and style, and that is my main go-to for clothing. The manager and some of the clerks there know me by sight. The outlet malls where I live are crazy busy. No space there is empty for long. I buy almost all of my shoes and outerwear at outlet and discount stores as well. I might get a few things at Macy's here and there. But that's about it.

I doubt I would find much at City Creek of interest to me.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 06:27PM

We have a pretty decent outlet store at Niagara Falls. Our shopping malls nearer to my home are actually closing except for the largest one in our metro area.

We get a lot of shoppers from Canada right over the border who come here for our sales and the American currency exchange savings. Our clothing and other items are better values here often times, as well as our taxation is more favorable if Canadians don't go over a certain dollar amount they don't have to pay a duty tax going back across the border.

So the factory outlet in Niagara Falls gets a lot of tour buses from Canada who does shopping junkets there.

And day trippers. :)

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 11, 2019 06:22PM

exminion Wrote:
> I have never been to the synagogues, and plan to
> go!

I went with my grandmother to B'nai Israel when it was still in use as a Reform synagogue, back in 1973. It was the first time she'd been in it since her mother died in 1918, when grandma became orphaned. Grandma remembered it by the stained glass windows she used to study as a little girl sitting next to her mother during the services.

She was sent away from Salt Lake City after her mother died to Menlo Park, California and raised by her Protestant aunts. She lost all contact with that synagogue and her Jewishness until I took her there with me in 1973 so we could study our Hebrew roots, together.
> We still like Trolley Square. Williams-Sonoma is
> fun, but my favorite mid-priced clothing shops are
> gone, and there are a lot of vacant store spaces.
> Gateway has a much nicer feel to it, but a lot of
> those stores have closed down or moved to City
> Creek.

There were many vacant store spaces, especially on the second story. There wasn't much foot traffic there either.
> Yes, there must be some incentive to make these
> stores move to City Creek mall.

Someone has mentioned the LDS church gives them a huge tax incentive break if they bring their stores to the City Creek Mall. That would explain why because there's so little business I can't see how they manage to stay in business otherwise. Maybe they even get their retail space rent free? Or at a huge discount.

> Malls, in general, are not doing very well,
> everywhere. We prefer the outlets in Park City,
> to the city malls. The parking lot is nicer than
> the "terrifying" City Creek parking garage, and
> the stores are right next to each other, and near
> your car, so there's less walking. The
> salespeople seem nicer and happier.

I haven't been to Park City yet. Hope to get there one of these days just to check it out. The Sundance Film Festival would be fun to visit when it's in town.

> This is OT, because it seems like Mormons are
> always grouchy, and the Mormon influence on
> architecture and appeal is "institutional
> minimalist" or "giganticism", like their ugly
> temples. Not inviting or welcoming.
> I agree that Mormon architecture leaves out the
> windows. A plain wall is 10 times cheaper than
> having a window there. That's why.

The stained glass windows are pretty enough I could see why my grandmother would study them as a little girl while she sat through the worship services with her mother. They were a pleasant distraction for her curious mind.

The B'nai Israel temple was "Designed by Philip Meyer, a native of Germany and a nephew of local retail magnate Frederick Auerbach.... It is one of the few remaining structures built by Utah's early pioneer Jews and reflects their importance in the development of the economy, government, and educational institutions of the state. The design of this Romanesque Revival style building was reportedly based on the Fasanenstrasse Synagogue, a famous Jewish temple in Berlin."

I believe the one in Berlin was destroyed during Kristallnacht. And Philip Meyer died in the Holocaust after his return to Germany.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: July 12, 2019 12:53PM

Buy the profits

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 06:10AM

and just someplace to park or launder cash and not meant to make a profit...

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 07:22AM

As a commercial real estate holding in a prime real estate venue, its location is building equity just by virtue of being there.

It's a non-liquid asset the church needs to retain and to build its wealth. As well as look pleasing to visitors and those coming to downtown SLC whether to visit the temple or on business. It isn't meant to lure the middle class. If it were the shops wouldn't be so high end that the everyday shopper goes elsewhere to find what they're looking for.

Either that, or the church corp. is really pound foolish. Because it represents a huge albatross around its neck.

Can you envision the day when City Creek Mall goes out of business, and a business park mall replaces it? Picturing other businesses inside that don't cater to retail shoppers but business retail space or not-for-profits?

Picture a Catholic Charities in there, for example. Or a Knights of the Columbus office, etc.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2019 08:09AM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: July 13, 2019 12:06PM

How many security guards did you see ?

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Posted by: not logged in ( )
Date: July 14, 2019 04:07AM

I didn't see any security guards, but I was nicely dressed, LOL. Honestly, I saw maybe about 30 live people--not including the cars in the garage--but I didn't go to the food court. There were a few kids playing in the water, when I was there, too. I was there only about an hour, but should have seen more people! It was about 6:30 on a Thursday evening. I was on my way home from a very fun event, and was in a very happy mood--so it wasn't me. The place seemed oppressive and dreary, and I couldn't wait to get out of there. I HAD to go there to pick up shoes at Nordstrom, which they were holding in my size. I usually buy online, but I needed the shoes right away. I had to navigate the awful parking garage and enter through a bathroom hallway, too, to get to Nordstrom's. The elevator was buried in the back. A glass elevator would have been nice.

I will avoid going to that mall in the future! I have been there only four times, since it was built. My ex-Mormon children have boycotted it. I used to meet friends and relatives in the old downtown for shopping, for a meal, or to see the Christmas displays, and for my kids' choir and musical performances, but no more. We go to the library most often, and, the Tower Theater, Abravanel hall, Capitol Theater, Eccles Theater, the Clark Planetarium at Gateway, Trolley Corners movie theaters. I don't think City Creek or Temple Square have anything to offer, in the way of entertainment. I have had to go to a few Mormon weddings and Mormon anniversary and birthday parties at the JS building, and the food reminded me of the BYU cafeteria. I have never heard of a business meeting or seminar being held at the JS building. Those are held at other hotels (not the Marriott). LDS, Inc. is really missing out on the seminars and conferences, which bring in a lot of revenue. Legitimate Utah businesses are probably too embarrassed to align themselves with what the rest of the world regards as a sleazy polygamous cult.

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