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After a false start, Salt Lake County is moving forward with plans to build offices for its District Attorney's Office.

The County Council concurred Tuesday that the DA should have two offices — one in downtown Salt Lake City, occupying part of a quarter block directly west of the Matheson Courthouse that the county purchased from the LDS Church, and the other in West Jordan, foreseen to be the hub of the fast-growing southwest valley.

That decision now will allow designers to come up with plans for the new buildings, which would be built by the end of 2017, according to a timeline prepared by the consulting firm, MOCA Systems.

"One building becomes highly inefficient serving a growing community out west," said MOCA Systems program manager David Hart, the former Utah State Capitol architect and executive director of the Capitol Preservation Board.

He said the new general configuration — an 86,000-square-foot building downtown and a 35,000-square-foot facility in West Jordan — would give the county 21 percent more space for just a little more money than was needed for a discarded plan to erect a single, 101,000-square-foot office elsewhere in downtown.

That envisioned five-story building originally was projected to cost $33 million, but its costs quickly soared (one estimate reached $50.8 million) before insufficient parking caused the council to back off of that plan. Then, in October of 2013, the county bought a larger parcel (3.1 acres) on the northeast corner of 500 South and Main Street from Property Reserve, Inc., the real-estate arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for $9.1 million.

County Mayor Ben McAdams' stated intention was to develop a mixed-use project that takes advantage of the Courthouse Trax Station being right in front of the property.

Hart told the council Tuesday that it would be best to proceed with the District Attorney's office structure alone on the southeastern portion of that parcel and to hold onto the land to the west. The DA will get badly needed offices more readily — it now rents three sites for $1.5 million a year — while giving the county "the chance of working with a developer later on the mixed-use property," he added.

This next part of the process could potentially revive a question that helped doom the prior plan: How perfect should this building be?

The Democratic administrations of mayors Peter Corroon and Ben McAdams as well as District Attorney Sim Gill have advocated for a structure that meets the highest environmental standards, arguing that long-term energy savings more than offset higher upfront costs.

But the Republican-majority council didn't want current taxpayers to foot the bill for long-term benefits they didn't believe would be as significant as advocates contended. They favored an energy-efficient building, just not the most energy-efficient building.

"That's been a sticking point for the council in previous years," Councilman Michael Jensen reminded the consultant and mayoral staff.

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