Main Street revitalization still on the table for downtown SLC

May 16, 2024, 5:00 PM

Main Street between the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 8, 2024....

Main Street between the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. One city official said that revitalization plans are still in the works. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The proposed Main Street revitalization project in downtown Salt Lake City is still on the table. 

Peter Makowski, the deputy director of Salt Lake City’s Business Development Division, said that despite Smith Entertainment Group’s proposal to revitalize the blocks between the Delta Center and City Creek Center, a redesign of Main Street could still happen. 

“I think they’re both still in the works. What the Smith Entertainment Group has proposed is really incredible actually. And, [it’s] going to be game-changing for downtown Salt Lake City,” said Makowski. 

The Department of Economic Development has been meeting with people about the project for the last year, per Makowski. Additionally, the department has been working to complete a report on their plans. 

“We’re excited, you know to complete this plan and get it out to the public,” Makowski said. “We hope it gives people an idea of, you know, ways that we could relook and reimagine Main Street.” 

Main Street revitalization has been in the works for decades

Makowski said the city has been trying to figure out what to do with Main Street for decades. Progress was made in the lead-up to the 2002 Winter Olympics when the TRAX North-South line was installed. 

Additionally, the Gallivan Center was built near Main Street. However, the city has been struggling to figure out next steps since then. 

“I want to say that, you know, we’ve got some really great local businesses and companies that have been on Main Street … since that time. And [they] have really been very resilient and really created a cool experience on Main Street, but it has been a struggle,” said Makowski. 

Why does Main Street need to change? How much will it cost? 

Makowski said that the city needs to “bring [Main Street] into the present day.”

He cited recent growth in Salt Lake City as one of the reasons. 

“We’re a growing city. We have a lot of people moving here. You know, our population in downtown is about to double 2020’s number,” said Makowski. 

According to Makowski, the revitalization could cost $125 million. There are a lot of things that need to be done. Some underlying infrastructure needs upgrading. 

For example, Makowski said that one downtown Salt Lake sewer line was built in 1897. It is still operating. 

“As our city is growing, we’re going to need greater capacity, you know to build up as we are seeing our city grow denser. And so yeah there [are] some some underlying costs there that will need to be addressed eventually,” Wakowski said. 

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Main Street revitalization still on the table for downtown SLC