SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) - A new plan for the continued growth of downtown Salt Lake City was unveiled Wednesday at Eccles Theater. The Downtown Rising Action Plan is a ten year plan designed to make downtown an even more dynamic capital city.
Inside one of the signature projects of the last Downtown Rising plan, the new plan for downtown was launched. "The Eccles Theater is helping transform our community and cement downtown Salt Lake City as truly the capital core of not just the city, but of the region here in the State of Utah," said Salt Lake Chamber President & CEO Lane Beattie.
The original Downtown Rising plan was launched in 2007 and identified several key objectives including regional rail, a theater and the need for more housing downtown. Through public and private partnerships that plan helped champion the development of 10,000 new residential units, 1,000,000 square feet of new retail and mixed use space and 2,000,000 square feet of new office space.
"Ten years ago when community leaders launched the original Downtown Rising vision, we listed eight signature projects, including three projects that are currently underway: a year round public market to help bring energy to the west side of our downtown, a convention center hotel and a sports and fitness center. We continue to make progress on these catalytic projects," said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. "Today we are proud to announce seven new priorities for downtown's development. These projects will help to build community and our downtown economy."
The Downtown Rising Action Plan is unlike other city planning efforts in that it isn't a government led initiative, but rather a partnership between business and local leaders. "That's the exciting part is nobody is trying to own this," said Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski. "We are owning it together and we are working together."
The seven new priorities released in the 2017 Downtown Rising Action Plan include; a year around public market, a new convention center hotel, a tech campus, a sports and entertainment district, a downtown K-8 school, a sports and fitness center, a digital media and arts center, as well as investment into transportation and improvements to Pioneer Park.
"So the plan doesn't address zoning changes, it doesn't address technical details, this plan focuses on what are the big ideas that are going to drive downtown into the future and in that sense it's very unique from what other communities often do," explained Downtown Alliance Executive Director Jason Mathis.
The plan is broken up into short term, medium and long term objectives, and it's not set in stone. The plan, organizers say, is just the start of the conversation. "If we don't have a strategy in place things will happen, but it won't be directed, it won't happen as quickly and it won't happen as well," said Mathis. "So let's come together, think of the big ideas and identify those, and then start actively working towards them, marshalling support, getting people involved, helping people catch the vision, that's what Downtown Rising is."
The convention center hotel is one of the plan's objectives that's close to becoming a reality. Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said the county is continuing negotiations with the developer and if things go well could have an announcement in the next couple of months.
The Downtown Rising Action Plan can be downloaded here: http://downtownrising.Com/_files/dtr_actionplan_2017final.Pdf
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