Larry Miller group adds more property near planned MLB site

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The Larry H. Miller Company now controls at least 18.7 acres of land just steps from where it hopes to build a Major League Baseball stadium if it can attract an expansion franchise, state and county records show.

The firm quickly moved to grab several parcels of the remaining land that isn’t owned by Rocky Mountain Power, a subsidiary owned by Warren Buffett’s conglomerate.

Its holdings now include the site of a former Ramada Inn, which the Miller group picked up via a long-term lease, a corner that was once slated to become a Starbucks drive-thru, and a former freight logistics hub.

All told, the Miller Group is now the second-largest landholder in what has been branded the Power District, and there’s one remaining property that could come up for sale soon.

Building Salt Lake reported on Jan. 12 that the Millers had recently bought the 12 acres that had been home to the ABF Freight shipping and logistics hub at 55 S. Redwood Rd. Two weeks later, on Jan. 29, the Millers signed an agreement with Keith Warburton to take over his $5.7 million long-term ground lease of a site once home to a Ramada Inn, county records show.

The previous owners of 1699 W. North Temple had been moving forward with a plan to build a car-centric Starbucks drive-thru on the property as recently as summer 2022. The Millers bought the property this March, state and county records show.

Warburton had previously been assembling millions of dollars in subsidies to retrofit the hotel into very low-income housing. The city reworked the terms of one of his subsidized loans and Warburton stopped pursuing the project.

The acquisitions follow the company’s quick moves to reach an apparent agreement with Rocky Mountain Power on carrying out a master plan for the 100 acres known as the Power District and secure a subsidy from the Utah Legislature to build the stadium and attract the team.

Recent Larry H. Miller purchases

Building Salt Lake first broke the news that the Millers were leading an effort to attract major league sports to the west side in April 2023. The next day, the family was joined by some of the biggest political players in the state to unveil a bid to bring the MLB to the west side of Salt Lake City.

Within weeks, and likely earlier, the company was making moves to acquire the properties that would be required to stitch together land that could be developed, owned and operated by the Miller company, in addition to any eventual MLB franchise.

Given largely blank slate in the Power District, the area should be easier to develop into a mixed-use district than the area surrounding the Delta Center Downtown. Utah Jazz and NHL team owner Ryan Smith is working with city, county and state leaders — and an estimated $900 million public subsidy — to revamp the Delta Center and reorient existing public buildings to make way for an entertainment district in the area. 

Given its largely industrial nature, the Power District was also in line for existing long-term owners to cash out and sell to developers who have been marching down North Temple. The addition of professional sports added fuel to the trend. 

The other remaining property owner within the district, North Temple Holdings LLC, defaulted on a loan against the property, according to county records. The owner’s lender will now take over the property, making it possible the Millers will buy that parcel as well.

A spokesperson for the Millers declined to provide information about its recent acquisitions and said its most up-to-date plans were on the Power District website.

The site says the Larry H. Miller Company, “with the support of a broad and diverse coalition of community leaders,” is redeveloping the Power District.

Renderings on the site show what appears to be a mid-rise building on top of a broad podium on the southeast corner of Redwood Road and North Temple, where the Ramada Inn would be today. The renderings show several other mid-rise buildings at approximately 20 stories along Redwood Road, with the rest of the district ranging from roughly four-to-10 stories in height.

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Posted by Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson grew up near Chicago and made his way West to study journalism at the University of Montana. He's been a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune, Bend Bulletin and Salt Lake Tribune. A move from Portland, Oregon, to Salt Lake City opened his eyes to the importance of good urban design for building strong neighborhoods. He lives on the border of the Liberty Wells and Ballpark neighborhoods.