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SLC Downtown Alliance Aims to Build on Momentum from City Creek Center

Andrea Smardon

Salt Lake City’s Downtown Alliance held its first annual Downtown Symposium Tuesday. City leaders gathered to review the past year, and talk about what’s to come for Utah’s capital city.

By all accounts, it was a banner year for Salt Lake City. In its inaugural year, City Creek Center injected $209 million into the downtown economy, resulting in a 36% increase in retail spending. But Downtown Alliance Executive Director Jason Mathis says City Creek is not the end. He says there is more work to be done. That’s why they decided to bring together the city’s leaders for a conversation about the future of downtown.

“We really care about creating a downtown that matters to the people of Utah, that people are proud about and excited about, and we need help doing that,” Mathis says. “Downtown is in a great place right now, City Creek is doing well, the Gateway is doing well, we’ve got lots of office buildings coming up, more people living downtown today than we’ve had in decades, but we need to think about what’s next, and how do we continue this momentum for the future of Utah’s capital city.”

An office building on the corner of 100 South and 200 East, another on Main Street, several housing developments and The New Performing Arts Center are in various stages of planning and construction. On the top of Downtown Alliance’s future wish list is a large convention center hotel, which they say would bolster employment and tourism. Utah lawmakers last year rejected a proposal to subsidize a convention center hotel with taxpayer dollars. Mathis says the Alliance is developing a new plan that would provide tax incentives after the hotel is built.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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