Downtown Rising: initiative relaunched on ten year anniversary

03 May 2016

After ten years, much of the Downtown Rising vision has been realized and downtown Salt Lake City has changed remarkably over the past decade. Today, community leaders came together to recognize the real progress that has been made, and more importantly to recommit to coming together to help create a downtown that belongs to the people of Utah. Most notably, the Downtown Alliance launched a survey to ensure the work visioned in Downtown Rising continues. The survey can be found at:

"You cannot have economic prosperity like we see in this state today without having a vibrant capital city here in Salt Lake," Governor Gary Herbert said. "We celebrate that today."

Downtown Alliance executive director Jason Mathis said, “we have identified progress on the the Downtown Rising visioning process that began in 2006, and we are documenting the many projects that are currently underway.”

Today the Downtown Alliance outlined three key objectives to catalog past success and set a course for additional development moving forward:

1. A call on the local community via a survey and open houses, to understand opinions about development in downtown Salt Lake City.
The Downtown Alliance has identified ten priorities and ten signature projects over the past year to keep the momentum going. We will be engaging in a community outreach process including social media outreach, public surveys and public open houses to determine priorities. This public input will inform decisions and recommendations made by the Downtown Rising Steering Committee, made up of property owners, community leaders and public officials.

The purpose of this involvement is to:
 - Help define goals for future urban development.
 - Evaluate existing programs and new opportunities.
 - Identify present strengths and weaknesses.

Open Houses at the Downtown Alliance offices 175 East 400 south, 6th Floor

May 31 at 5PM
June 28 at 5PM

2. Strategic development in the urban center
This is, in many ways, the implementation phase of the Downtown Master Plan that Salt Lake City’s Planning Department has been developing. Downtown Rising 2.0 continues to build momentum for strategic development in our urban center. The Downtown Alliance have identified We see three key trends that are influencing downtown’s current growth:.

 - Urban Tech Center
 - Workforce and Mid Rise Housing
 - Art and Culture as an Economic Driver

The Downtown Rising Steering Committee will release a Downtown Rising action plan to implement the next phase of the Downtown Rising Vision by 2017.

This will include short-term, medium-term and long-term recommendations aimed at shaping a more dynamic and diverse urban center over the next ten years.

“Today is not a launch of something new as much as a milestone – this is part of an ongoing community discussion about our urban center that will always be part of a healthy and growing community” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “The future of our city depends on a diverse downtown, and hinges on affordable housing.” Part of this action plan will include key developable downtown sites with uses and incentives where possible working in concert with the private property owner.

3. Catalog completed and ongoing projects:
The original Downtown Rising plan was a guiding vision which blended public and private interests launched by the Salt Lake Chamber in partnership with the Downtown Alliance to shape the future of downtown Salt Lake City. The Downtown Rising process started in 2006 and was unveiled to the community in 2007. Based on the Second Century Plan from the 1960’s, the vision captures the hopes and aspirations for the urban center of Utah’s capital city and was a consensus-based approach, with public and private sector participation.

“At the time, we could not predict what changes might happen downtown – but we knew that if we worked with public officials and business leaders, we could help to influence those changes for good,” said Salt Lake Chamber president Lane Beattie.

The progress on Downtown Rising priorities included:Dynamic Urban Development – with more than 4,000 units built in and around downtown over the past decade.
Progress on a Public Market, one the signature projects identified by the Downtown Rising vision a decade ago.
 - Regional light rail and commuter rail, both priorities identified by Downtown Rising.
 - University Boulevard, otherwise known as 400 South connecting the University of Utah with the urban center.
 - Development of the Eccles Theater, one of the signature projects identified by the original Downtown Rising Vision
Utah’s urban center continues to develop with new retail and residential project – but more work remains.
"You cannot have economic prosperity like we see in this state today without having a vibrant capital city here in Salt Lake," Governor Gary Herbert said. "We celebrate that today."
Private and public support has been key to completing nearly all projects built in the past ten years.

“Over the past several decades, Salt Lake County has made significant investments in the economic and cultural life of the urban center including the Salt Palace Convention Center, Abravanel Hall, the Rose Wagner Performing Art Center and Capitol Theater, that opened an incredible new expansion in 2015, said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. “We are excited to partner with Salt Lake City in the development of the Eccles Theater. These assets contribute to the cultural diversity and artistic life of the entire region, and generate thousands of jobs in the convention, hospitality and entertainment industries.”