To take advantage of emerging trends and opportunities, Downtown Rising will focus advocacy efforts on actionable short, medium and ongoing projects and objectives. These projects and objectives are based on public outreach, stakeholder interviews and consultation with public sector planning efforts.
Building on the success of the summer Downtown Farmers Market, a public market in the Rio Grande neighborhood will provide year-round vending opportunities and continue to bolster rapid transit oriented development of downtown’s depot district. The public market will act as an important public space within the community, bringing residents and businesses together while promoting small and local business in a celebration of Utah’s agricultural roots and food production heritage.
Significant strides have been made towards building a convention center hotel adjacent to the Calvin Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center. The size and complexity of this project will require State, County and City participation with a private developer to build a facility that meets market requirements. In 2013, the Utah State Legislature approved a post-performance tax incentive to entice development and currently Salt Lake County and private developer DDRM are in negotiations to construct the project. Downtown Rising will continue to advocate for the importance of this project in attracting additional convention visitors and tourism to the urban center. The hotel should act as an anchor attraction that welcomes our diverse visitor population and bolsters public and private investments in the surrounding blocks.
Building on the growing technology ecosystem in downtown, Downtown Rising will advocate for the development of a “tech campus” that fosters innovation with local universities, colleges and technology companies. This campus will provide the burgeoning technology sector with more reasons to locate and grow their business in downtown. The project will create new jobs and benefits for the residents, retailers, restaurants, students and surrounding business community.
Downtown has an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on renewed investments at the Vivint Smart Home Arena and The Gateway. Downtown Rising will advocate to enhance the district to expand regional audiences, increased spending on retail, food and beverages, greater use of parking and transportation systems, increases in sales tax revenue and more opportunities for original programming.
Downtown’s arts and cultural organizations represent a unique resource for economic growth. Downtown Rising will advocate for innovative placemaking and public art projects and other programs that expand public exposure to art, particularly those that showcase local artists.
Downtown’s regional transportation infrastructure ensures a variety of options including auto, free public transit on TRAX, buses and enhanced bicycle infrastructure like the GREENbike bike share program. Several additional planned transportation projects will enhance downtown as a regional multi-modal hub. These include:
• Downtown Circulator: A downtown bus circulator will break down arbitrary boundaries and create a more cohesive downtown district.
• TRAX extension to the new SLC airport: The existing Airport TRAX line needs additional investment to reach the new hub and ensure 21st century connectivity into downtown.
• Downtown Streetcar: In 2013, Envision Utah, Salt Lake City and the Utah Transit Authority began an alternatives analysis to catalogue potential routes stretching from downtown to the University of Utah. Downtown Rising supports a streetcar system that links the urban center with University neighborhoods, to enhance transit-oriented development.
• Grand Boulevards: The Grand Boulevards act as main arteries in and out of Utah’s capital city, serving thousands of drivers every day. 400 South, 500 South and 600 South need continued attention along with public and private investment to create a more dignified, green and monumental front door for our urban center.