Originally Posted by TonyAnderson
My perception after living in Provo (and first time in Utah County) for the past two months is the downtown is pretty decent, quite busy on weekends, and has a ton of potential, and that the city has a surprising amount of 'white trash'. It's not really what many outsiders would perceive it as.
People say Provo needs to change its perception, but what if it likes that perception? The city is theoretically run by the people, so shouldn't it reflect their values?
If I were Provo my number one goal would be trying to attract the many companies of Utah Valley to locate there as most seem to be in the suburbs. That'll create the most positive change I believe.
I do sense some people lower down the socioeconomic scale that hang out in the downtown area along with the college students. This contrasts with the Riverbottoms on the north end of the city with some of the nicest neighborhoods (imo) in the state like:
The Woods at Riverside http://www.utahcountyonline.org/hous...247/501001.jpg
My guess is that the "white trash" you notice in downtown has to do with the Pioneer neighborhoods immediately surrounding it (there are 4 of them).
The Joaquin neighborhood (NE of downtown) is probably in the best shape (but isn't saying much). This ranges from Center St. east of Univ up to 800 N on the southern edge of BYU. You could actually subdivide this neighborhood into a North and a South as well. College students dominate the populace from about 500 to 800 N east of Univ. Ave. to 900 E
The city is attempting to infuse grants for homeowners in the southern half (500 N to Center). The problem, is that there is a very high proportion of historic homes, turned rentals and people don't really care about or take care of the homes. Often times, landlords live in other areas and don't really care either.
As the downtown continues to gentrify with all of the new development, I predict that these neighborhoods start to see interest and turn into something with more of a Sugarhouse feel. It's not going to happen overnight, but it will happen.
I also believe that the proposed higher density development immediately surrounding the FrontRunner station will assist in speeding up this process.
I also think Provo needs to focus on the airport and try to get another flight to the west coast (LA) This could really help support future business in the area.
The Riverwoods business park bothers me as it continues siphoning away corporations from the downtown. Right now Ancestry.com is a billion dollar company, Vivint is private, but probably close to a billion dollar company, Qualtrics is probably a $500M company, MoneyDesktop is growing and Tahitian Noni is also a good sized company and all have HQ's in this northern Provo business park. I wish the economic development team could start luring these types of companies out of the business park and downtown (although Vivint and Tahitian Noni both built their HQ's, so I doubt they're leaving anytime soon).