St. George City Council approves multi-use development

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ST. GEORGE, Utah - Plans for a major multi-use development in downtown St. George are one step closer to reality after approval by the city council Thursday.

The 3.9-acre property is located on the south side of Tabernacle Street from 200 West to 300 West. Dubbed with the name “Joule Plaza,” the multi-use development will contain retail and residential space.

“It’ll be a first for St. George,” said St. George city community development coordinator Bob Nicholson. “It’s in the downtown, so we think it’s a good location, walkable, bring some vibrancy to the downtown.”

Nicholson said it’s been in the works for about two years, but developers have been waiting for the economy to improve. But the approval of a conditional use permit for the height of the building, and a consideration for parking mean plans are a go.

Renderings show the four-story buildings will add about 130 residential units and about 24,000 square feet of commercial space. This kind of design is outlined in the city’s long-term plans for redevelopment.

“It’s fairly common in larger cities,” Nicholson said. “Even in larger cities in Utah. Salt Lake, Ogden, Provo, Orem. They all have mixed use projects.”

The commercial development will take up about two-thirds of the city block, making it one of the largest here in the downtown area. While the city says that’s good for economic development, it also means older homes and one small business will have to relocate.

Carol Aldred is that small business owner. Her thrift store has been on that block for several years. She said the redevelopment will add to the vitality of the area, but said it's sad the history will be replaced.

“I just love the downtown area,” Aldred said. “It’s just neat and people can walk ride their bike and they pop in, it’s just a neat experience for people too. So, I’ll be sad to see this building go.”

There’s still no exact timeline on when construction might begin, but Nicholson said it could happen by next year.