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Major facelift could usher in new downtown era
by Chad Phares
Jun 21, 2006 | 472 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BOUNTIFUL -- Thanks to the proposed construction of two new buildings, downtown Bountiful looks like it will finally catch up with the rest of the city. The old Clipper Publishing building on the corner of Main Street and 100 South and the Whisperwood Hollow building on the other side of 100 South will be leveled and rebuilt as mixed use structures. The buildings for which construction may begin as early as this year, are set to begin what officials hope will be a movement toward a more modern Main Street. The new buildings are scheduled to have retail area on the bottom floor. The top two floors would be reserved for residential use. During the Bountiful Planning Commission meeting Tuesday evening, John Hepworth, owner of the Stahle Law Office adjacent to the old Clipper building, presented the commission with an artist's rendering of what the new buildings would look like.

Tom Smith, who serves on the planning commission and is chairman of the Downtown Steering Committee said he was pleased with the conceptual drawings.

"I'm really in favor of the concept," Smith said.

"Really, it's just the kind of thing we've been hoping for to revitalize the area."

There was no vote taken at the meeting. Hepworth's intent in showing the conceptual drawings was simply to "get the planning board's blessing," he said.

The two buildings, which will be nearly identical, are owned by two different entities.

Bountiful's Redevelopment Agency purchased the old Clipper building in April.

The Whisperwood Hollow building is owned by Security Investments.

Although Bountiful City Planner Aric Jensen said the city is interested in merging the old with the new -- and not in simply destroying the old, the old Clipper building wasn't deemed high enough on the list of historical sites to warrant saving.

Jensen said the new buildings should show others in the area what kind of vision the city has for the downtown area.

"This is exactly the kind of thing we want to see going into the downtown area," Jensen said.

Those who hope to see the old Clipper building one last time may need to hurry.

Jensen said the city hopes to demolish the old Clipper building "in the next month or so."

Because the city does not own the Whisperwood Hollow building, Jensen could not comment on their schedule, but said the city will continue to work closely with Security Investments throughout the process.
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