If you look around, you’ll see that the streets of Salt Lake City are in the midst of some major changes. It’s kind of like Extreme Makeover: City Edition! We have the blueprint, now all we’re missing is an irritating host! Whether it’s the construction of new office buildings such as 111 Main, a community center in the Eccles Theatre or the protected bike lanes on 3rd South, the layout of our beloved city is shifting towards a sustainable and practical future. The only thing missing is a dramatic bus move! We’ve always favored ribbon cuttings anyway, as they are much more dramatic when you consider more than a television week goes into projects on a city scale. As downtown grows around us, learning curves and all, it is helpful to step back and see the bigger picture. Let me draw it out for you.
Move over Silicon Valley, the snow-clad “Silicon Slopes” in SLC are climbing as a major technology player. Downtown is rising through a physical facelift you can see and feel, as flocks of hatchling tech companies and startups nesting in the historic edifices of downtown SLC, driven by the millennial generation. These companies are choosing downtown not only to have room for physical and economic growth, but because downtown offers several amenities that can’t be matched anywhere else in the state. InsideSales is one of these companies.
The streets of this great city are full of art galleries, museums, cultural event spaces,
theaters, hubs for local music and art installation making up a vital component of what
connects people to their local community and each other. Nothing can create community
quite like unique mediums such as art, dance and music—and Salt Lake City offers them
all up on a very appealing platter.
Growth is a great thing for an on-the-rise metropolis like Salt Lake City. It brings culture, investment and diversity among other benefits. But one problem that a city faces when there’s an influx of new blood is finding a place to put everyone. In a city like SLC, buildings from the late 1800s are often neighbors with high-rises of a more recent vintage. This mix of historic and modern creates a feeling of progress tinged with memories of what came before. It’s a feeling that welcomes new companies while honoring the businesses that helped build the city and in many cases are still alive and kicking.
Much more than an exponent equation learned in pre-junior high math, the "Power of Two" explores what individuals can do in collaboration. It is the foundation of teamwork where together we explore new opportunities, discover new channels or resolve to overcome challenges in a concerted effort. Here we reached out to four downtown couples who demonstrate the essence of the "Power of Two" by building their lives downtown.
STORY BY VIRGINIA RAINEY | PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRENT ROWLAND
It's almost impossible to narrow Salt Lake's downtown dining options to a handful of "the best" because that's a huge category. Better yet, it keeps growing. So here's just a sampling of three "bests" for each meal. Quick or leisurely, romantic or strictly business—take your pick.
Change is the one constant, and it is always welcomed with open arms.
The first statement is true. The second is a lie.
Our beloved Broadway, the best east to west pedestrian corridor in downtown, is in the midst of a pretty significant change with new protected bike lanes and parking changes. All this has come with a healthy dose of angst. As we think through this dynamic, it's helpful to remember a few key points:
First – it is clear that protected bikeways have been highly successful in other cities. And there is good reason to think they will also serve a valuable purpose here in Salt Lake City. As somebody who doesn't have a car and who rides a GREENbike on our city streets almost every day, I welcome infrastructure improvements that make it safer and more convenient to use a bike. In addition to new bike infrastructure, the city also added new medians between State Street and 300 East, a long standing request from many area businesses.
I'm attempting to write an article about the millennial generation (those born between (1982 – 2000) and limit my use of the word "millennial" to under five occurrences. We're already at two – it's not easy for a member of Generation X to avoid the "m" buzzword. A moniker overused by marketers, businesses and the internet as a whole, this generation is at the top of everyone's mind. And rightfully so; the next generation is our future. While this has been true for the past millennia (snuck that one in!) planning for this new era is more important than ever.
The coming years will change the shape of our burgeoning urban center : because the way young adults experience the city, move about the city and live, work, shop and play here is dramatically different than the ways other age groups have interacted with downtown.
by Alison Flanders / Utah Heritage Foundation
With over 25 local beer and winemakers, Utah has come a long way and has a lot to offer visitors and locals alike. A HSITORY OF BEER AND WINE IN UTAH: The sale of alcohol started what could be Utah's first "buy local" movement. LDS Church leader Brigham Young, who never drank a drop, saw an economic opportunity and developed a way to produce and sell beer locally. The idea was to cultivate local business and prevent Utahns from wasting money by importing beverages. In the 1920s, just prior to prohibition, wine started to gain popularity in the West. The art and science of making wine and brewing beer was continually being refined, producing great results. Sales reached record highs, helping to push prohibitionists to criminalize the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors."
Overall perceptions of Salt Lake City, by all Utahns, has reached an all-time high of 77% favorable and only 5% claiming a negative perception.
A connection to downtown has also hit a record high, with over 50% of statewide citizens strongly claiming an ownership with their capital city.
Retail sales in downtown in FY 2013 eclipsed precious record years, pre-Great Recession, reaching $800 billion in the Central Business district and now represent over 10% of all county-wide sales.
Average downtown office lease rates has outpaced comparable county growth and reached record levels in 2013 at $21.56 per sq. ft, while vacancy numbers have consistently shrunk, an accomplishment reached during a period of several new development projects adding additional space to the market.
Reports released at the 2014 State of Downtown are below.
Last weekend I had one of the best experiences of my life at the opening day of Downtown Farmers Market. For many people in our community, including my family, the start of the Farmers Market means the start of summer. Walking through the verdant green of the park, watching hundreds of creative vendors and thousands of happy shoppers I felt a huge jolt of optimism about the future of this great downtown amenity.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about Pioneer Park, and the surrounding businesses, residents and service providers in the neighborhood. This area has remarkable potential. Pioneer Park's 10 square acres of green space in the heart of our city should be a major draw for retail, business and residents alike.
Time to get creative, SLC!
Explain the phrase "My Own Downtown" in a short video (up to 100 seconds) and enter to win the $5,000 grand prize!
Deadline is July 7. Full contest details:
Past Winners: https://www.facebook.com/downtownslc/app_548051858554140