Salt Lake City leaders announce major upgrades to Ballpark neighborhood

Nov 1, 2021, 6:46 PM
(Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, speaking at the podium, announces major development ideas ju...
(Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, speaking at the podium, announces major development ideas just outside of Smith's Ballpark. Photo: Paul Nelson)
(Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, speaking at the podium, announces major development ideas just outside of Smith's Ballpark. Photo: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — Major renovations and upgrades are in the works around Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City.  On Monday the city revealed its proposed plans for the first time. Now they want the public to voice what they like, and what they don’t. 

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said there is already a lot of pressure on developers to build housing units in the area just east of I-15 between 900 South and 1700 South.  However, she said the city needs to make major improvements if they want these new homes to feel like a neighborhood.

For instance, District Five City Council Representative Darin Mano said the streets weren’t designed to take advantage of the nearby TRAX station.

“It’s not very safe to get from the 13th South Trax station over to the Ballpark neighborhood,” Mano said.

A library is coming to Salt Lake City ballpark neighborhood

Plus, Mano said the district is missing things that could bring the community together. For instance, a library.

“District Five, actually, is the only City Council district that is currently lacking a public library,” he said.

Mayor Mendenhall was cheered when she announced a library will be a top priority.

“The plan includes the addition of a new Salt Lake City public library in the Ballpark neighborhood,” she announced during a press conference unveiling the city’s ideas.

(Mayor Mendenhall, at podium, surrounded by drawings showing the city’s plans for the Ballpark neighborhood. Photo: Paul Nelson)

The plan includes six “big moves,” Mendenhall said. They include:

  1. Creation of a Ballpark Station Area Transit zone in the location identified as the “Heart of the Neighborhood.”
  2. Reconfiguration of the Ballpark TRAX Station to improve access from the west.
  3. Improvement of 1300 South for pedestrians by creating new crossings and expanding and upgrading the street-level pedestrian experience.
  4. Creation of a sense of place at and around the stadium and in a way that positively activates the area 365 days a year.
  5. Repurposing of parking lots and underutilized properties to add activity to the Heart of the Neighborhood.
  6. Investment in community amenities and green space to balance the growth this neighborhood will see with attributes that improve quality of life.

Other possibilities

She’s also suggesting current city infrastructure could be repackaged and used in different ways.  Mendenhall proposed new ideas for their public utilities campus near the ballpark.  There could also be plans to block traffic on West Temple for festivals and other community gatherings.

“Locations for parks, open space, a new library, a community center or combined facility should be identified and pursued as we go forward with this plan,” Mendenhall said. 

City leaders want nearby residents and business owners to see the city’s ideas over the next 45 days.  Anyone wanting to make a comment can send it to the Salt Lake City Planning Commission.

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Salt Lake City leaders announce major upgrades to Ballpark neighborhood