Clearing the Way for Mixed-Use, But Economy Puts Projects On Hold

The people of Salt Lake City have gotten behind the switch to mixed-use, and developers have been clearing away old sprawl. But the flailing economy has put projects on hold, leaving the city with a landscape full of holes.

"Suburban Sprawl is currently being "undone" in Salt Lake City by both market conditions and developers' plans. More infill development is going up while structures are being torn down with the plans for mixed-use developments. Developments in places like Harriman and Woodscross remain with houses unsold as (formerly high) gas prices made people more willing to live in dense areas.

The Gateway Mall was one of the first projects in Salt Lake that truly followed the Paris Pattern. The mall features early French Renaissance architecture that provides housing, over 100 retail stores and restaurants, entertainment and work places such as Fidelity Investments and The Salt Lake Tribune.

The plan was a success and now other developers are taking their sledgehammers to old Salt Lake structures. For many, the Sugarhouse area was full of nostalgia. The downtown area featured local shops including a boutique, record store and a corner coffee shop that became a commons area for many residents. All this was lost when the developer Craig Mecham demolished the Granite Block of Sugarhouse for a new mixed-use project. The plans were to create a live-work-play dense pedestrian friendly environment for citizens."

"But with America's economy reaching its lowest numbers since the Great Depression, Mecham lost his funding and left a huge hole. Now city officials want Mecham to fill the hole, only to later dig it up again when he achieves the funding."

Thanks to Jonny Glines

Full Story: Sugar House and Cottonwood Redevelopments

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