SALT LAKE CITY — The brain trust of the much-anticipated City Creek Center has its newest member.
Taubman Centers, owner and operator of the retail portion of the City Creek development, announced Wednesday that Linda Wardell has been named general manager of retail operations for the landmark downtown project, effective next month.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to move to Salt Lake City," she said. "I'm the luckiest general manager in the world to be involved with this project."
Wardell, who will oversee retailer relations, marketing, tourism, sponsorship and community outreach for the retail center, has most recently been general manager for the Pier Shops at Ceasars in Atlantic City, N.J.
Previously, she has also managed Polaris Fashion Place in Columbus, Ohio.
A native of Atlanta, Wardell has more than 20 years experience in shopping center management, marketing and operations, including four years with Taubman.
She said the next 15 months will be spent diligently working to develop and implement plans to ensure the launch of the multimillion dollar mixed-use development is successful.
"There are a lot of people who are watching what's going on at City Creek," Wardell said. "Part of what drew me to Salt Lake City is knowing that there is so much interest in this project."
The project, estimated to cost $1 billion, will cover three downtown blocks with 6 acres of landscaped open space, including man-made streams representing the historic south fork of City Creek that ran through downtown when pioneers first arrived in 1847.
City Creek will feature approximately 800,000 square feet of shopping and dining space. Among the unique attributes of the 23-acre development that will include a mix of residences, retail and office space, will be a fully retractable glass roof, a sky bridge over Main Street and a realistic re-creation of City Creek, the snow-fed stream that once coursed through the city.
The retail center will anchor the property's master plan developed by City Creek Reserve, Inc. — a real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
While some might see managing such a high-profile project a daunting task, Wardell said she embraces the challenge.
"My goal is to exceed everyone's expectations and to make City Creek Center a world-class, memorable experience for families, tourists and anyone who visits," Wardell said.