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
Walk down any downtown street today and you’ll see planters and windowsills bursting with color. Our beloved GREENBikes are zipping through the urban center. Pedestrians fill the sidewalks and patrons overflow from patios, enjoying alfresco lunches or socializing after work. Trees are blossoming and Temple Square is awash in colorful bulbs that rival the gardens of Amsterdam. Spring is here.
There are plenty of great things about this season but there are also a few challenges. Sunny days make it more fun to be outside for everyone, including panhandlers across the Wasatch Front. Like Punxsutawney Phil, many emerge from a winter hibernation to enjoy the sunshine and make a little cash.
Currently, about 5,000 people live downtown. Even more surprisingly, only a fraction of those residents live AND work downtown. I have several friends who live downtown lofts but commute out of the city in separate cars to jobs in the suburbs. They can't wait for the right job to open up downtown, and waiting is exactly what they have been doing.
Salt Lake City has reinvented itself dramatically over the past decade, thanks to the creativity and innovation of passionate Utahns who are taking ownership of their urban center. This energy is especially palpable in dining and nightlife with restaurants and bars thriving in spite of strict quotas on state liquor licenses and other unusual laws. Rather than aspiring to copy other great food cities like Portland, San Francisco, Chicago and New York, downtown restaurants and bars offer an approachable and refined experience for local and visiting patrons alike. These establishments are a celebration of Utah’s history in entrepreneurship, creativity and small business savvy.
OPENING IN 2014:
Game Works, a family entertainment venue complete with food, games and a sports bar has been announced at The Gateway in the former Sky Box space plus some additional adjoining space.
Impact Hub, a new collaborative workspace, innovation lab, and event venue for entrepreneurs is under construction at the Former Zim's building at 150 S State St. it is scheduled to open in late spring.
Beer Bar is opening right next to Bar X and owned by the same people that own Bar X. It is scheduled to open this spring and will feature Viet Pham as the consulting chef.
LunaSoft a one stop retail shop that helps business owners built their own websites and other online resources such as email newsletters, social media and CRM. They are located at 12 West Broadway in the former Bee Hive Tea Room location.
Cucina Toscana at 307 W. Pierpont Ave has a new owner and has changed its name to Toscana.
The Shilo in has been sold to a new owner and will be undergoing both an exterior and interior makeover this year and changing brands to a Holiday Inn.
Marriott Courtyard limited service hotel is under construction just south of the Energy Solutions Arena. A second limited service hotel, Hyatt House is planned on the same lot in the near future.
Rocket Fizz opened in January at The Gateway in former Blickenstaff location selling retro candy, soda and gag novelties.
Diabolical Records recently moved downtown to 238 S Edison St. from their former location in the Granary District.
Cities of the past were built on trade routes, the convergence of waterways, industrial engineering and manufacturing. Cities of the future will be built on the free flow of information, new technologies, innovation and collaboration.
Ideas, and the translation of those ideas into products, services and innovations are the new building blocks of future commerce. That's one reason everyone in Salt Lake City should take an interest in the announcement that Google intends to bring Google Fiber to Salt Lake City residents.
Abraham Lincoln was a genius.
Yes, he saved the Union, championed the end of slavery and wrote the Gettysburg Address – an eloquent and succinct argument for freedom and equality that celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. But in addition to his many other remarkable gifts to humanity, he also made Thanksgiving a federal holiday, forcing us to pause and express gratitude in whatever way suits us best.
We have much to be thankful for in our community. While there are a host of issues that need attention (funding Utah's schools, air quality, provincialism, etc.) the people of our fair city and state are generally honest and good. Indeed, there is a well of decency here that doesn't exist in every other community.