Developer chosen for stadium project

By Lana Groves, Asst. News Editor

The U has picked a developer to oversee and hire construction and design teams for the Universe Project8212;a mixed-use development that will replace 7.9 acres of the Rice-Eccles Stadium parking lot with restaurants, offices and a multi-level parking garage.

Inland American Communities Group, Inc., a building development company that works on university building projects, will start discussing plans to build on the west parking lot of Rice-Eccles Stadium for the Universe Project next week, said Ross Robb, managing director of special projects for the company.

“We’ll be working both with the university community and the surrounding neighborhoods on the project,” Robb said.

The development, which will be next to the Utah Transit Authority TRAX stop at Rice-Eccles Stadium, will include U housing, offices, parking, restaurants and stores in a multi-layer facility.

Members of the U community and neighborhoods have expressed concern in the past that the project would create traffic problems. Robb said members of the surrounding community will have ample opportunities to discuss problems with the project as it develops.

Although the developer has been selected, construction will not begin for another year, Robb said.

Robb estimates the project, which will be no more than five stories tall, will cost around $70 million to complete.

“With all of that parking ending up in a multi-parking-level structure, it will go from low-efficiency surface parking to high-efficiency multi-level,” Robb said. “More people will be able to make use of the space.”

The Campus Master Plan depicts the Universe Project as a miniature shopping mall that would encourage students, staff and faculty to shop, study and congregate in the Rice-Eccles Stadium area.

[email protected]