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Resolution passed to retain condemnation powers for City Center project

 (West Valley Journal) The City Center's transit components are almost in place with the completion of the bus hub and construction of TRAX.

Now city planners are making final negotiations to purchase the remaining parcels within the 150-acre City Center Redevelopment Area. Final negotiations have yet to be finalized, and the window of opportunity to use condemnation powers closed on Dec. 31. To ensure things keep moving forward, the West Valley City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, passed a resolution just days before the deadline stating these powers will be used should negotiations go sour.

"It was not a hostile effort to try and condemn Mr. Sorenson's property," said Economic Development Director Brent Garlick. "We have talked with him for a year and everything seems to be moving ahead but we needed to designate our interest in using condemnation powers to allow us to negotiate in the event things fall apart."

Although the City Center RDA was established in 2005, the state law changed, slimming down the timeframe the council could use these powers. The majority of the homes and business properties had already been obtained without using these powers. The property owners approached city officials.

These negotiations resulted in 16 properties being purchased. The only property owner holding out is Boyce Sorensen, who owns Executive Apartments, a 24-plex, and three separate commercial properties. Garlick said West Valley City owns all of the property around Sorenson's properties, making this transaction very important to the Phase I of upcoming City Center project.

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