Friday, June 1, 2012

What would Jesus do with $5 billion

Certainly not build a $5 billion shopping mall and residential complex, which is precisely what the LDS church did in Salt Lake City.  The new City Creek Center boasts a $500 million fully retractable roof, the only one outside of Dubai.

Speaking of Dubai, the cost of the Burj Khalifa (formerly the Burj Dubai) was approximately $1.5 billion. The building was prominently featured in Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol. For that price, Dubai got the tallest man-made structure on earth, a true "tower of Babel" that almost reaches heaven (well, at least to a height that requires special rules for air traffic).

What did the Mormon Church get for its money?  Tiffany & Co., Coach, Nordstrom, Porsche Design, H&M, and Macy's, all of which are closed on Sunday.  The Mormons also got some horrific architecture, which is sad, because I am an aficionado of good architecture.  The most prominent building in the development is a tan brick art deco monstrosity (I kid you not!) that looks like it wants to be in Miami Beach, but someone frakked up the color scheme.

Which would you choose?

Incidentally, for the $5 billion price tag of City Creek, the church could also have built the Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur ($1.5 billion),

Atlantis - Dubai ($1.5 billion), 

and had $500 million left over for the retractable roof.

Someone obviously made a lot of money on this project.  

When you consider that the church has members in third world countries who are starving, as well as impoverished people paying "tithing" to the church, the whole thing stinks to high heaven (if there were a heaven).  Clearly the Mormon leadership has never read Matthew 19:21: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."

Incidentally, a deal recently signed in Utah is bringing an Apple Store to the City Creek Center. And according to independent sources, the unprecedented deal was sweet indeed: Apple was given five years' free rent to move in.  Jesus' mall must not be doing as well as was expected.  


  1. Giving a business below-market rent is an out-and-out subsidy to Apple. CC should be ASHAMED of itself; the other stores should have negotiated a lease price 'not above the Lowest price' per sq foot.
    Feel their pain?

  2. Agreed. If CC was the "in" place to have a store, Apple wouldn't need a subsidy. (Gateway already has an adequate Apple Store). In other words, Apple would want to be at CC and would be knocking on CC's door. I think CC is getting desperate. Things aren't going as well as expected.

    Incidentally, I was just in Hong Kong and visited the Apple Store at the IFC mall. It is pretty spectacular.

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