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  #7261  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2011, 6:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SLC Projects View Post
Just spend a week in Seattle. When ever I visit a bigger city, It kind of makes me depress. Why do I feel like the only why I'm ever going to see a 40+ story skyscrapers is to move to that city? Not that I don't love Salt Lake. But it just frustrates me sometimes that other cities can build skyscrapers left and right every year while SLC we be lucky to get two or three new highrise once every 10 years. For example we stayed at a city called "Bellevue" that is about 20 to 30 mins from Seattle. And while I understand that they have a by far bigger metro ( over 4,000,000 ) Bellevue itself only has about 123,000 people living in it, but yet they have a bigger skyline and taller buildings then we do. 123,000 people. Come on that's about as many people living in West Valley. They must be doing something right since it seems they are in a building boom with having a few new 30, 40 story towers ( with an s ) getting built every year. And while that's good for them and I can't help but to be a bit jealous it just makes me wonder............were are our towers? I keep hearing Utah/SLC is a hotspot right now with business wanting to move or expand here. But yet we are not seeing any new highrise office towers out of it. It's taken 222 south Main 2 years so far just to be about 55%-60% leased out. It just seems like nobody is going downtown. Maybe there's a few, who only just end up moving into buildings we already have or they might build a 5-story building somewhere downtown if we are lucky I guess. Sorry for the rant, I just really want to see big name company build a skyscraper in downtown SLC. Not build a 4-story campus in Lehi.
I really hope once CCC opens next year this will finally put SLC on the map when it comes with companies wanting to move their business downtown and build downtown. I'm pass only seeing ONE, TWO or maybe THREE ( if lucky ) towers once every 10 years. We should be pass that point. If we are one of the fastest growing metros in the U.S. And a business hotspot......then lets see it.

I think this trip might of open my eyes a bit on where we should be developing.
One of the biggest reasons why downtown SLC isn't bigger than it is is because of SPRAWL!!! It's all the population growth that keeps building further and further out into the west dessert, Lehi, Herriman, etc. Along with that are many office complexes that have many 4 story buildings. That is why! It's because there is a lot of ignorance about sprawl in Utah. I was just out there a few weeks ago, and it just amazes me at the mentality out there. It seems like everybody drives a large SUV or large pickup truck, etc.

Regarding Bellevue: The size of its downtown is not proportionate to its population. It is proportionate to the metro region. Downtown Bellevue is a suburb of Seattle. In fact, there has been more highrise development in Bellevue in the last five years than in downtown Seattle. Because I I live in the Portland area, I am able to visit Seattle at least a few times a year, and I have been very jealous of the exemplary modern architecture that Bellevue has developed so recently.
     
     
  #7262  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2011, 2:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SLC Projects View Post
Just spend a week in Seattle. When ever I visit a bigger city, It kind of makes me depress. Why do I feel like the only why I'm ever going to see a 40+ story skyscrapers is to move to that city? Not that I don't love Salt Lake. But it just frustrates me sometimes that other cities can build skyscrapers left and right every year while SLC we be lucky to get two or three new highrise once every 10 years. For example we stayed at a city called "Bellevue" that is about 20 to 30 mins from Seattle. And while I understand that they have a by far bigger metro ( over 4,000,000 ) Bellevue itself only has about 123,000 people living in it, but yet they have a bigger skyline and taller buildings then we do. 123,000 people. Come on that's about as many people living in West Valley. They must be doing something right since it seems they are in a building boom with having a few new 30, 40 story towers ( with an s ) getting built every year. And while that's good for them and I can't help but to be a bit jealous it just makes me wonder............were are our towers? I keep hearing Utah/SLC is a hotspot right now with business wanting to move or expand here. But yet we are not seeing any new highrise office towers out of it. It's taken 222 south Main 2 years so far just to be about 55%-60% leased out. It just seems like nobody is going downtown. Maybe there's a few, who only just end up moving into buildings we already have or they might build a 5-story building somewhere downtown if we are lucky I guess. Sorry for the rant, I just really want to see big name company build a skyscraper in downtown SLC. Not build a 4-story campus in Lehi.
I really hope once CCC opens next year this will finally put SLC on the map when it comes with companies wanting to move their business downtown and build downtown. I'm pass only seeing ONE, TWO or maybe THREE ( if lucky ) towers once every 10 years. We should be pass that point. If we are one of the fastest growing metros in the U.S. And a business hotspot......then lets see it.

I think this trip might of open my eyes a bit on where we should be developing.

Good thing it isn't just about skyscrapers. Seattle has a beautiful skyline, no doubt. But Salt Lake is a much nicer city on the ground which is what really matters. Cities are places where people live, work, and recreate- looking at a skyline can be part of that, but it is a minor thing compared to all that cities can offer. I dare say some of the world's best cities have some of the most unimpressive skylines. Would you ever want to live in downtown "Bellevue"? Probably as much as you'd want to live in a soulless office park. I get tired of all the whining about Salt Lake's unimpressive skyline. Its never gonna happen in your lifetime. Salt Lake is not a place Fortune 500 companies are looking to build their 40 story+ corporate headquarters. As far as the rest of the country is concerned theres only room for one corporate headquarters in SLC. And who cares because SLC is one damn fine place to live. I like our skyline just fine. Just because a skyline may be tall doesn't make it interesting.
     
     
  #7263  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2011, 6:38 PM
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^ Salt Lake is a great city and its probably allot cleaner then Seattle if that is what you mean. My experience with Seattle, though, is that the streets are flooded with pedestrian traffic. I also was under the impression that Seattle is know for its night life although I haven't been in Downtown Seattle at night. So I don't think the skyline is the only issue here. I think classic suburban sprawl is the issue. Why does it seem like more people want to live down town in Seattle then in Salt Lake? Even in Bellevue, I was told some of those high rise condos sell for several million dollars a unit. Downtown Bellevue is actually really nice.
     
     
  #7264  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2011, 7:07 PM
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^ Salt Lake is a great city and its probably allot cleaner then Seattle if that is what you mean. My experience with Seattle, though, is that the streets are flooded with pedestrian traffic. I also was under the impression that Seattle is know for its night life although I haven't been in Downtown Seattle at night. So I don't think the skyline is the only issue here. I think classic suburban sprawl is the issue. Why does it seem like more people want to live down town in Seattle then in Salt Lake? Even in Bellevue, I was told some of those high rise condos sell for several million dollars a unit. Downtown Bellevue is actually really nice.

Downtown Bellevue was really nice. We stayed near downtown and we got to drive around their downtown. While I would expect Seattle to be bigger then SLC in every way, I was talking more on the lines of Bellevue and was surprise to see a city of that size ( 123,000 ) with that kind of skyline. I also did some research and notice that alot of their highrise were built during the last 10 years. For example Bellevue would have on average at least THREE new highrise added each year. Looking at their top ten tallest it would go.......such and such tower 2009, such and such 2010, such and such 2009. What ever they are doing, they are doing it right.


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Originally Posted by WASDEN View Post
Good thing it isn't just about skyscrapers. Seattle has a beautiful skyline, no doubt. But Salt Lake is a much nicer city on the ground which is what really matters. Cities are places where people live, work, and recreate- looking at a skyline can be part of that, but it is a minor thing compared to all that cities can offer. I dare say some of the world's best cities have some of the most unimpressive skylines. Would you ever want to live in downtown "Bellevue"? Probably as much as you'd want to live in a soulless office park. I get tired of all the whining about Salt Lake's unimpressive skyline. Its never gonna happen in your lifetime. Salt Lake is not a place Fortune 500 companies are looking to build their 40 story+ corporate headquarters. As far as the rest of the country is concerned theres only room for one corporate headquarters in SLC. And who cares because SLC is one damn fine place to live. I like our skyline just fine. Just because a skyline may be tall doesn't make it interesting.

Ok first of all, I would agree with the comment that a downtown is more then just a skyline. While headed to Seattle we spend a night in Boise. And while Boise lacks highrises, they do have a very active downtown with tons of restaurants on their streets. That has been something SLC has been lacking for years, but is slowly getting better. With Gateway getting built and with Trax it took alot of business off Main Street. But now 10 years later with CCC soon to open I have notice more businesses moving back to SLC's main street.
Next I wouldn't compare Bellevue to a "soulless office park" IMHO. Not sure if you have ever been to downtown Bellevue, but they have a nice downtown area with a mix use urban core with a outdoor mall ( kind of like CCC or Gateway ) with tons of people walking the streets. They even have a sky bridge. But no where near like a office park. The only thing Bellevue lacks is a lightrail.
Finally, I really hope you're wrong about a Fortune 500 company not wanting to move here ever or at least not during our lifetimes. I'm 31 and I would like to think I still have a good 40 years or so to go and alot can happen during that time. ( Wishful thinking ) I mean didn't we just hear about a week or so ago about Salt Lake City being on the list for the top 15 cities in the world to do business in a Fortune Magazine? We have been hearing tons of stories of SLC or the metro making the top list for something. I would be surprise if SLC still isn't on anybody's list for a possible place to move. Again this is all just wishful thinking on my behalf. But I think with CCC opening soon, with our max transit expanding, with hopefully soon a 1000+ hotel and Broadway theater these would make SLC even more attractive.
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  #7265  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2011, 7:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Orlando View Post
One of the biggest reasons why downtown SLC isn't bigger than it is is because of SPRAWL!!! It's all the population growth that keeps building further and further out into the west dessert, Lehi, Herriman, etc. Along with that are many office complexes that have many 4 story buildings. That is why! It's because there is a lot of ignorance about sprawl in Utah. I was just out there a few weeks ago, and it just amazes me at the mentality out there. It seems like everybody drives a large SUV or large pickup truck, etc.

Regarding Bellevue: The size of its downtown is not proportionate to its population. It is proportionate to the metro region. Downtown Bellevue is a suburb of Seattle. In fact, there has been more highrise development in Bellevue in the last five years than in downtown Seattle. Because I I live in the Portland area, I am able to visit Seattle at least a few times a year, and I have been very jealous of the exemplary modern architecture that Bellevue has developed so recently.

Sprawl would make sense, but doesn't every major city in ever metro have some kind of a sprawl issue as well? But alot of these places seem to still build outwards as well as upwards. While we still do have alot of open land we do have the mountains or lakes to limit how far out we can build.
Also I would have to believe that Bellevue is apart of Seattle's metro and that Bellevue has been getting more highrise development then Seattle. I guess I can even go as far to say that Bellevue is where Sandy only dreams to be. I kind of notice that right now there is kind of a business war going on right now between Bellevue and Seattle to see who can get whatever big name companies to their city, and right now Bellevue is kicking ass even though Seattle is much bigger.
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1. "Wells Fargo Building" 24-stories 422 FT 1998
2. "LDS Church Office Building" 28-stories 420 FT 1973
3. "111 South Main" 24-stories 387 FT 2016
4. "99 West" 30-stories 375 FT 2011
5. "Key Bank Tower" 27-stories 351 FT 1976
     
     
  #7266  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2011, 8:11 PM
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I've grown a lot over the years. Immature Sean used to think it was all about the skyline and that without a decent skyline, you could not have a decent city.

Current Sean, who's now traveled to many cities over the years, realizes it's much more than that. What makes Seattle awesome is not necessarily its skyline, but the way the city has progressed and developed over the years. It's a beautiful city with sloping hills and a great urban fabric - similar to Portland, though on a grander scale. It's got an active and lively urban center that isn't tied to how tall the buildings are.

Charlotte has a great skyline. It's far more modern and impressive than anything Salt Lake City offers. But if you look beyond the skyline, at the city itself, it's rather unimpressive.



Downtown is mostly a cluster of high-rises, surrounded by parking. I have no doubt, in years to come, those parking lots will be filled with more development - probably more high-rises - but how much of it is actually urban?

I'm sure some would take that over what we've got. But I like some of Salt Lake's neighborhoods. I love Marmalade Hill and SugarHouse and 9th and 9th. I think Salt Lake City, while it certainly has its flaws, has been able to keep its urban fabric intact and not many cities out west can say that.

Finally, it's ridiculous to compare Salt Lake City to Seattle. They're not comparable. Salt Lake City isn't anywhere near as regionally important as Seattle or close to their overall population.

I'd say Salt Lake City is more comparable to Portland and in that regard, our skyline isn't much dissimilar than theirs - with height only being a marginal difference.

The biggest difference, though, and what makes me envious of Portland and Seattle, is the fact both cities have dense, active cores. We do not. We haven't since the 1950s. Salt Lake City is a 9-5, M-F city. That's changing, of course, but we're still well behind many of our other companions in this regard.

When the workweek ends at 5:00 on Friday evening, downtown becomes a ghost town. That's not the case with Seattle or Portland or some other stronger, more vibrant, western cities.

Sure, there are moments where downtown will be extremely active on the weekends (if there is a festival or big event going on there), but those aren't continuous events. They're once every few week type deals, sometimes once a year deals (like with the gay pride parade or the Days of 47 Parade). That can offer a boost, obviously, but it's not going to sustain buzz.

The ironic thing here, is that you're the one complaining about this SLC Projects. Downtown Salt Lake City is nowhere as active as Seattle or Portland because of the mindset you advocate. I know that sounds harsh, but it is the reality.

Sure, Seattle and Portland sprawl, but whereas Seattle is large enough that Bellevue can compete and succeed, other not so major cities that succeed with active downtowns aren't in direct competition with their suburbs. Unless, of course, we're talking about larger cities like L.A. or San Francisco or even Denver, where there is a bigger population to draw from.

It makes sense that Bellevue has taken off because the Seattle metro is at 3,344,813 - bigger than the state of Utah! It can't all be clustered around downtown Seattle.

However, cities like Portland, that aren't dramatically larger than Salt Lake City, don't sprawl nearly at the level we do here. They don't build stadiums in the suburbs that take away the fans from the city core.

Portland's MLS team plays in a renovated ballpark that is located in downtown Portland.

Salt Lake City isn't large enough where it can lose out on those developments and continue to thrive.

Seattle can. Seattle is already established and successful. Losing a business to Bellevue isn't going to detract from their downtown core because they've already got a foundation and enough vibrancy to absorb that hit.

Not us. Even with a growing downtown population, we still have more empty streets than any of us would like. Downtown Salt Lake can get mighty empty on the weekends.

You want downtown to be more like Seattle - well it has to start by putting the kibosh on losing so many important developments to the suburbs.

The only thing, IMO, keeping downtown relevant right now is not necessarily Gateway or City Creek - it's the ESA. That's the only development over the last 20 years that brings a huge number of people into downtown Salt Lake City on a consistent basis.

That can change, obviously, with the more people moving into the area. But right now, it's still the thing that drives revenue for downtown businesses because we're talking 20,000 on any given night.

Imagine now if downtown, during the summer months, had Rio Tinto Stadium or even a minor league ballpark. That would make a huge difference for a city center that, outside the weekdays, is often deserted by the masses once the weekend rolls around.

You want Salt Lake City to be like Seattle? We've got to advocate downtown development. We've got to fight for the big developments to be built there and not out in Sandy. A Broadway Theater has to be developed downtown. When the Jazz decide to build a new arena, it has to be built downtown. When Salt Lake City ever gets a MLB or NFL or NHL team, the arena/stadium has to be built downtown.

No ifs ands or buts about it.

Because right now, downtown doesn't have the population to sustain itself without those things. Maybe in 30-40 years it can absorb losing that type of development to the suburbs. But not now. Just go drive up Main Street right now, at 2:00 on a Saturday, to see how active it is (it isn't). Sure, Gateway is probably seeing a decent portion of foot traffic and I'd hope the opening of City Creek will help, but I'm not expecting a complete 180 in terms of activity.

Especially when we're looking at a one-day weekend window, since almost everything downtown is closed on Sunday.

And that might be the biggest obstacle. SLC is not a seven-day a week city. Hell, it's not even a six-day a week city.

Get it to that point, though, and we'll be just fine. That's what I want from this city - not a bigger skyline. A skyline doesn't mean much to me if the downtown is dead on the weekends and the city is suburban in nature.

I'd rather have a lively, urban core that isn't entirely impressive from afar than a shell like Charlotte.

But that's just me.
     
     
  #7267  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2011, 8:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Comrade Reynolds View Post

The ironic thing here, is that you're the one complaining about this SLC Projects. Downtown Salt Lake City is nowhere as active as Seattle or Portland because of the mindset you advocate. I know that sounds harsh, but it is the reality.

But that's just me.

Hold on. You do bring up alot of good points, but complaining? First of all I was Comparing Bellevue to SLC, not SLC to Seattle. Next It was a simple vent, or just the fact that sometime it gets a little depressing that as good as SLC is, it could be a whole lot better. I don't hate SLC, I just want to see it grow faster then it is right now I guess. Finally, YOU have done way more comparing then anybody on here that I know. From my point of view it seems that each time there's a new rendering of some kind of a project you tend to point out all the negatives. It's like you're spending your whole life waiting for that one "perfect project" only to be disappointed in the end.
So I can't vent this one time? or it's only ok for you to do the comparing on here? ( if you even want to call it that )
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1. "Wells Fargo Building" 24-stories 422 FT 1998
2. "LDS Church Office Building" 28-stories 420 FT 1973
3. "111 South Main" 24-stories 387 FT 2016
4. "99 West" 30-stories 375 FT 2011
5. "Key Bank Tower" 27-stories 351 FT 1976
     
     
  #7268  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2011, 9:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SLC Projects View Post

Hold on. You do bring up alot of good points, but complaining? First of all I was Comparing Bellevue to SLC, not SLC to Seattle. Next It was a simple vent, or just the fact that sometime it gets a little depressing that as good as SLC is, it could be a whole lot better. I don't hate SLC, I just want to see it grow faster then it is right now I guess. Finally, YOU have done way more comparing then anybody on here that I know. From my point of view it seems that each time there's a new rendering of some kind of a project you tend to point out all the negatives. It's like you're spending your whole life waiting for that one "perfect project" only to be disappointed in the end.
So I can't vent this one time? or it's only ok for you to do the comparing on here? ( if you even want to call it that )
That's my point. You're venting about an issue that is a direct result of a mindset you've accepted here on SSP in the past. Like how losing RSL to Sandy is something we should get over and that it essentially wasn't a big deal.

It was and should be made out to be a big deal because if we get too apathetic toward suburban development, downtown will lose those same projects in the future. That's what makes SLC different from Seattle and Portland.

It has nothing to do with you venting. In fact, I think you've got a legitimate reason to vent, since I said in my post downtown SLC lacks a great deal of vibrancy you find in many other cities.

But that is a result of the suburban-mindset of the valley. Salt Lake City has lost out on the aquarium, a major league soccer stadium, the Olympic Oval, the hockey arena and almost lost out on the Broadway Theater - all to the suburbs. The latter only fell into SLC's lap when the project there proved too ambitious.

Don't get me started on the whole Lehi development that never materialized.

Those projects have hurt downtown. I know from your posting history that you and I differ greatly on our views toward the suburbs.

I'm not entirely anti-suburb, but I think there are certain developments that should be built downtown and not 20 miles from the core. We're not Seattle. We can't absorb losing major projects to Sandy or other suburban areas because the region isn't big enough to support that type of outcome.

If you want SLC to be vibrant like downtown Seattle, you've got to advocate for more major developments to be built downtown than out in the south-valley.

But the way I see it is that the mindset in the valley is that it doesn't matter where it's built, just as long as it's built. In its basic terms, that sounds logical. However, in practice? Not so much. Not when it detracts from the urban core of the entire state.

It doesn't mean everything should be built downtown, but it means most massive projects should be built there.

That mindset killed downtown in the 70s and 80s and sadly, it's one that hasn't changed one bit since. Hell, Larry Miller, before he died, was ready to move the Bees out to Sandy. I think it's possible when the Jazz look for a new arena, that a suburb pushes hard at getting it built inside its borders. I get why, because it would be a huge boon for the city, but with the mindset of 'eh, is it really that big of a deal where it's built', establishes itself, it leaves the possibility of it actually happening. Especially when the powers to be, the state legislature, is dominated by the suburbs. Look no further than the MLS debacle where the legislature intentionally cut SLC off at the knees when it came to building the stadium downtown.

If downtown loses the Jazz, you might as well just shut the door on it because it'll be dead. There is no coming back from that. Not with its current state.

So that's my point. I think we need to accept the idea that Salt Lake City can't thrive when it's in direct competition with the suburbs. We're not big enough for that type of competition.

In that regard, we're not Seattle. If we're going to have a vibrant downtown, it's going to take big developments that actually bring people into the core. I'm hopeful with City Creek, but that's only a start.
     
     
  #7269  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2011, 10:12 PM
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^ What is enticing developers to move into the suburbs? The only things I can think of are land cost and taxes, but I dont know how taxes compare between places. What could Salt Lake do to be more competitive?
     
     
  #7270  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 12:22 AM
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Cost is a big reason. Plus, downtown still is killed by perception. This is what needs to be stressed over and over again.

If a downtown isn't vibrant, there is less incentive for a corporation or developer to plan a major project for the downtown area. They don't want to risk it knowing full well there is a possibility the project will fail. It's why many rustbelt cities still to this day have a helluva time finding developers to build good development in their downtown.

It's really a difficult cycle to get out of and it's one I hope Salt Lake City isn't plunged into because the suburbs somehow manage to grab the best future developments. I'm optimistic, obviously, with City Creek Center and the potential for a Broadway-style theater, but we can't quit there.

More people will move downtown if it offers more unique options. You're not going to move downtown if everything you do is out in the suburbs. The more people that move downtown will create a higher demand for more projects - an entertainment district, boutiques, museums and other type of commercial and retail that otherwise wouldn't look at downtown.

Salt Lake is doing a good job at revitalizing its downtown. It's a process, though, and it's easy to get discouraged. Ten years ago, it looked like the city was on the cusp of turning a corner and while we're better off than we were going into the Olympics, we're still far from being where I think most felt we could be. Main Street is still largely vacant and empty most nights. There is still few retail options outside Gateway. The western end of downtown can be so much better.

It's an ever evolving process and, unfortunately, the city has taken its hits along the way. Losing the soccer stadium was a huge blow. It not only signaled that the suburbs had more weight on Capitol Hill, but that downtown still wasn't the go-to hub for a major development like that. Add whiffing on the hockey arena that was built in West Valley and losing the Skating Oval to Kearns and you see why things haven't gone as smoothly as they could have.

A few weeks ago I mentioned how amazing downtown would be if the city had built the hockey arena on the proposed site next to the ESA, the Skating Oval right across from Pioneer Park and the stadium on Main Street. It would have put us far closer to being a 24-hour city than we are today.

Unfortunately, because the city lost out on each of those three sports complexes to the suburbs, we're worse off for it. It detracts from the vibrancy of a community if the downtown core doesn't offer anything unique or doesn't give its residents a reason to stay there beyond 5:00.

This is my main gripe. While we're getting an awesome retail/commercial/residential center with City Creek, it's still nothing dramatically different than what we're seeing out in the suburbs. Maybe on the scale it is, but in the end, it's still a mall. That's the same thing with Gateway and while I'm in no way trying to diminish the success of each development, or at least the potential success in terms of City Creek, I'm saying that can't be it when discussing downtown vibrancy. It's a start, yes, but people aren't going downtown solely for City Creek or Gateway. Not when they can get similar stores closer to their home.

No, people go downtown because of things that aren't offered in the suburbs. This is where something like the ESA is such an important staple for the downtown community. I know some might disagree with me, but I think it's the most important building downtown because it is completely unique to the state of Utah.

The Utah Jazz continue to be the flagship franchise of the state. You're not going to get the Jazz in Provo or Ogden or St. George. That's an experience you can only get downtown.

That's what makes a city vibrant. A soccer stadium, which can act as a concert venue, downtown would have been a huge boon for the core. Especially when soccer takes place during a period where the Jazz are experiencing their offseason.

But that's not the case now. Instead, Sandy is drawing those crowds and while I don't think it's dramatically hurting downtown - it could have dramatically helped downtown.

So the first thing we can do is advocate for more development. It sounds easier said than done, I know, but back when RSL was looking for their stadium, we were all mute on this subject. When the legislature voted to tell cities what it could and could not do with its own funding, essentially doing it to prevent Salt Lake City from building the soccer stadium on Main Street, Utahns did nothing. They didn't care.

It's that passive attitude, one I addressed in one of my posts above, feeling that as long as it's built, it doesn't matter where it goes, that ultimately needs to be changed.

Until it is, I think we'll continue seeing a competition between Salt Lake and the suburbs and because the downtown core isn't seeing huge population growth like the suburbs, the perception is that things should be built where the people are.

Forgetting that it's handicapping downtown and running it into the ground.
     
     
  #7271  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 12:48 AM
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Awesome posts Comrade! When I visited Denver last and got the SSP tour by some of the regular posters here in the Mountain West section, I was so impressed with their constant emphasis on vigilance in making sure Denver doesn't lose ground or opportunities to the suburbs. Salt Lake City doesn't have the political will to make that happen in many cases and I think part of that is because it needs to annex more of the sprawl like Denver and Seattle and therefore invest more voters in its success. I don't really see any other way.

Personally with the Lehi project and Sandy Projects and I think the realestate crisis was a Godsend for downtown SLC in keeping it from being pushed into the dust. Coming out of the recession with City Creek and many of its other projects should give downtown a bit of an upper hand over the burbs. Even though the downtown malls were just malls and City Creek Center is still on a platform that can be accessed via the Fashion Place Mall, I don't think we can underplay how powerful that has been and will be in spurring some major growth and luring in more nice projects downtown.

I find myself becoming less obsessed with SLC going taller and more interested in it getting street level infill as well. The human eye can really only comfortably see about 70ft upwards from the street level anyway. I do however really want to see the Bennion Jewelers building get replaced by a new taller office building to fill in the hole in the skyline that exists between the two major clusters of skyscrapers downtown.
     
     
  #7272  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 3:41 AM
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Salt Lake has lots of unique restaurants, shops, and experiences you can't find in the suburbs. It could be a lot better. Consumers must continue to support new places that do give downtown a shot, because more than a few have dried up and withered away in recent times. Salt Lake could also benefit from a change in certain laws, like the limits on bars on a block or on getting a liquor license. With these restrictions gone, more night life can spring up.
Even with the existing uniqueness of Salt Lake, it suffers a perception problem. Many residents of the state seem to almost prefer living in a generic looking beige home in the newest development and shopping at WalMart and eating at the Olive Garden. I don't mean to be single out a religious group, but you cannot ignore the cultural divide between SLC and the 'burbs. Some people in the state's majority perceive SLC as the hippie, liberal city and try to avoid it's offerings thinking it conflicts with theur values
I agree with Comrade Reynolds that it sucks that so many projects end up all over the place. The aquarium is in Sandy. So is the soccer stadium and many company headquarters. IHC's headquarters are in Murray. Fashion Place in Midvale is making a real run against the CCC when you look at the new tenants they are getting. SLC has to be the cultural, entertainment, and commerce capitol of this state and for whatever reason, it is struggling to accomplish this
     
     
  #7273  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 3:58 AM
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I agree with S.P. Hansen that SLC would be better off if it hadn't lost so much of it's area to incorporation. Every little community is the valley wants to be it's own town. There have even been fractions of people in Sugar House or Rose Park that want to break away. Salt Lake City may be the largest city, but not by much and under 200,000 people does not give it much political force against other cities hungry for growth and tax revenue.
     
     
  #7274  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 4:19 AM
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I vote for a down town petco... Sick of going to bountiful
     
     
  #7275  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 5:05 AM
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This conversation kind of reminds me of a brief snippet in a recent Wired magazine about small city growth. They use Omaha, Nebraska and it's revitalization efforts as an example. I went on to Wikipedia where it says Omaha has a population of 432,958 with 885,350 living in the metro.

Check it out:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/0...sblockbyblock/
     
     
  #7276  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 6:53 AM
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This is a very good discussion going on here. Thanks for all the points made. I've been in downtown Portland alot lately. I went to a Portland Timbers game, and their stadium is so well integrated with mass transit and pedestrian and residential and restaurants. Also, there are a lot of people that walk about on the streets in Portland. It's not they have a cool big development like the gateway. I think it has more to do with that there is a good continuous urban fabric with small blocks and small streets, a lot of older buildings with street charm, and a popular hipster crowd that just enjoys the cool places to eat and drink. I have taken some photos, and I was contemplating posting them here. But, I think that it might make us feel a little more depressed about SLC.

Someone made the point that the skyline of Portland is comparable to SLC. Maybe closer in height than Seattle, but Portland's downtown is so much bigger than SLC. There are easily twice as many buildings in downtown Portland than SLC.

You may ask, why do I post so much on this forum when I am in Portland. The answer is that SLC is my hometown and I want to see SLC become a great city, not necessarily great in the world's eyes, but a vibrant well-connected, and livably very attractive place with exemplary architecture and public spaces.
     
     
  #7277  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 2:49 PM
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  #7278  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 5:16 PM
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Geez, get a grip and quit whinning. SLC, as a city, is dynamic and is becoming a business conduit that is going to make the city an area that will grow rapidly with a dynamic center where things happen.

I left SLC almost 25 years ago. The SLC of now dwarfs what I left.

Whining and woah is me regarding a high rise design is hilarious. Those buildings will be coming.

If you read around in business magazines or urban design magazines then you see really how signigicant SLC is looked at.

If you go to lesser cities like Omaha and Des Moines etc, you will see much more high rise design YET when you drive a few blocks out of the DT you notice a decided not urban territory that makes you think of South Dakota .

SLC is going to be a major force. Remember you build if you need to build. That will happen in a big way. Now, is not the right economic time. SLC is lucky that it has a dynamic view of how the downtown will integrate. They are building for need and focus now. The real expansion can now happen fluently as DT core is making smart choices and not just to build what should be built when the need arises.

SLC is going to be a kick a$$ business central and not just a hotel Vegas.

I have loved high rise design since I was about 10. Fascinating to the max. However, I have been lucky to work and travel. Many larger downtowns are lame and congested and totally without focus. SLC has the space and chance to create something that is elegant and useful. SLC is being proactive within realistic control.












Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post
One of the biggest reasons why downtown SLC isn't bigger than it is is because of SPRAWL!!! It's all the population growth that keeps building further and further out into the west dessert, Lehi, Herriman, etc. Along with that are many office complexes that have many 4 story buildings. That is why! It's because there is a lot of ignorance about sprawl in Utah. I was just out there a few weeks ago, and it just amazes me at the mentality out there. It seems like everybody drives a large SUV or large pickup truck, etc.

Regarding Bellevue: The size of its downtown is not proportionate to its population. It is proportionate to the metro region. Downtown Bellevue is a suburb of Seattle. In fact, there has been more highrise development in Bellevue in the last five years than in downtown Seattle. Because I I live in the Portland area, I am able to visit Seattle at least a few times a year, and I have been very jealous of the exemplary modern architecture that Bellevue has developed so recently.

Last edited by NYC Rick; Jul 31, 2011 at 5:37 PM.
     
     
  #7279  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 6:22 PM
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All great points guys. I've learned a lot since being on this forum and I continue to learn. Like I said, coming home this week has been a real eye opener.
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  #7280  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2011, 8:38 PM
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We're not just talking about tall towers. We're talking about a walkable, vibrant downtown. Salt Lake City has glimpses of that, of course, but it's still far from being where I think most of us would love to see it.

Main Street is still hurting. Lots of businesses set up shop and then, within months, are gone, because there just isn't the foot traffic necessary to keep those businesses thriving.

It's been like that for 30 years. Does that mean all is lost? Of course not. There is great potential and eastern downtown is seeing a nice boom in residential development. But it doesn't change the fact that, for the most part, downtown Salt Lake City is essentially Main Street and State Street from South Temple down to 400 S and the area around the Gateway.

That's it. The area west of Main, between West Temple and 300 West, is awful. It's unwalkable, lacks any prospects and is a big reason there is such a divide between the central core and a growing western edge.

Which is why I think so many of us get discouraged. There has been progress, but it's still so beyond what it could be. Main Street has become a better street the last 15 years, but it's still dead on the weekends and most weekdays after five (except when there is a concert at the Gallivan). Hopefully that changes with City Creek - but even then, we're only talking about a blocks worth of area and I don't know how that will trickle down to the southern-end of Main.

It seems we're fighting the same battles, unfortunately, that we were fighting ten years ago.

Everything you've said New York is what I've been hearing since I joined SSP in 2002. There has been progress, but I'm not going to kid myself and say downtown Salt Lake City is dramatically better today than it was when I came on this site almost ten years ago.

It's better, of course, but not nearly at the level I thought it would be back in '02.
     
     
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