Salt Lake City wants to make Main Street ‘a place for people.’ What could it look like?

May 14, 2024, 8:57 AM | Updated: May 15, 2024, 9:50 am

A digital rendering shows was a revamped Main Street in Salt Lake City could look like...

A rendering of what extended patio dining on a "restaurant row" could look like along Main Street in Salt Lake City. A rendering of what extended patio dining on a "restaurant row" could look like along Main Street in Salt Lake City. (Dig Studio via Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development)

(Dig Studio via Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development)

SALT LAKE CITY — A project to overhaul Main Street in Salt Lake City and convert it into more of a permanent promenade would likely cost about $125 million, but city leaders and planners say they believe it would finally unlock a vision at least six decades in the making.

The Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development released its long-awaited Main Street Promenade Study late last week, which outlines various concepts and costs for the project to reimagine the road from South Temple to 400 South, as well as a block of 100 South from Main Street to the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Related: ‘Sports, entertainment, culture and convention’: Group vows on plan to revitalize downtown SLC

The 215-page document is a “high-level” overview of what is possible, said Peter Makowski, deputy director of Salt Lake City’s Business Development Division, a section of the department. It takes into account the underground infrastructure and businesses on top of changes to traffic flow in the selected area.

It depicts an area that could be anchored with outdoor patios for restaurants and bars and public spaces. Car access would also be significantly reduced after a concept that limits motor vehicles but allows bicycles and scooters was “by far the most preferred option” from a survey conducted last fall.

“It’s a complete redesign of the entire right-of-way,” he said, explaining that some sort of “underground infrastructure” would be installed to raise or lower when the street is open or closed to cars.

Yet it’s unclear when any of this could come to fruition largely because downtown priorities may have shifted since the study began. Salt Lake City and county leaders are currently engaged with Smith Entertainment Group on a “sports, entertainment, culture and convention district” between the Delta Center and City Creek Center as Utah welcomes the National Hockey League in.

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Salt Lake City wants to make Main Street ‘a place for people.’ What could it look like?