As we walked through the beautiful, new City Creek Center, we couldn’t help thinking 5,000 cars would be parked under our feet and the mall jam-packed with people the next day.

The mall was just an empty shell on our last media tour, and now restaurants and shops unique to the site are moving in and just about every piece of residential property is taken. The mall we’ve been hoping for is already here. It’s green, it’s chic and it’s ours. Welcome to the future, Salt Lake City.

Check out the photo gallery from the media tour.

Chairman, President and CEO of Taubman Centers, Robert Taubman led the tour and explained the City Creek Center is the “most reasonable mall to open in 2012.”

With plenty of natural light shining in, the City Creek Center is also the first enclosed mall built in the country since 2006 and the only one with a retractable roof. Actual trout swim in the meandering creek that runs through, and a beautifully-designed 140-foot sky bridge connects the two portions of the mall, divided by Main Street, and keeps shoppers safe from crossing in front of TRAX.

The mall has room for 100 stores, 92 of which open tomorrow morning. One-third of those retailers are unique to the Salt Lake City market. And many, like Taste of Red Iguana, are local.

Family-friendly, the City Creek Center also has a play area for kids, inspired by Utah’s prehistoric past and a Disney store. It’s dog-friendly as well, and if your mutt behaves, it’s welcome at the mall.

Everyone we talked to at the City Creek Center is amazingly friendly, despite the very serious looking people in the ad campaign.