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Business owners concerned about drug use, violence around North Temple

Homeless persons sit in a closed business on North Temple in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall spoke during a press conference on her vision for providing community resources and increased safety. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Some business owners and residents on North Temple are voicing their concerns about a lack of safety in the area. One property manager says he was recently mugged and, in his opinion, the city has done nothing to address the widespread drug use and lawlessness.

 

Drug use, violence and growing concerns

Jared Smart is a property manager with Bonneville Realty Management. For about the past four years, he’s managed the commercial property at 838 W North Temple. He said while homelessness and some inevitable drug use have popped up throughout those four years, it’s now gone beyond control in the past couple of months.

“We have a grounds maintenance crew [and] they were cleaning up needles everywhere,” Smart said. “One day we picked up 26 used needles.

And when it comes to safety or a lack thereof, he can testify first-hand how bad it is.

Some business owners and residents on North Temple are voicing their concerns about safety in the area. (PHOTO: Security camera footage provided to KSL Newsradio by Jared Smart)

“I was there one day [and] I got mugged,” he said. “Luckily, I had some cash in my pocket and they took that and ran, but they put a gun to my back or a knife.”

Beyond the concern of being robbed, he gets why people may just want to stay away at this point.

“About a month ago, there was a lady shooting up heroin. She looked completely dead,” he recalled.

Driving business away from the area

Smart said the people that are especially suffering from this are business owners and tenants in the property space. Some have already decided not to renew their lease due to the ongoing issues.

Smart has brought his information and security camera footage to the city council, saying they need to formulate some sort of a plan that doesn’t just pass this burden onto another block of Salt Lake City.

“I honestly don’t know what the answer is,” he said. “I think somebody needs to come up with something that can help these people.”


Salt Lake County Homeless Services Resource Directory