Did someone say year-round farmer’s market? Salt Lake City residents will soon have a trendy new downtown neighborhood to choose from. And yes, plans include a year-round farmer’s market. Dubbed “Station Center,” the new development will transform a large swath of the west side between the historic Rio Grande Depot and UTA’s Salt Lake Central Station.
Station Center is slated as mixed use, meaning it will incorporate a balance of retail, commercial, and residential properties. The City plans to incorporate the historic Beehive Brick and Serta buildings into the plan and maintaining a lively “local” feel.
Transportation is key to the plan; Front Runner, TRAX, Green Bike, Amtrak, and buses will serve Station Center. These transit features are not only convenient, they benefit the environment. Concentrating homes and businesses in a mass-transit served development such as this reduces auto traffic improving air-quality and reducing fossil fuel use. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now…
Needless to say, it’s good to see sustainability listed among the core values for the development which include:
Pedestrian Focus – The streetscapes, buildings, and public spaces will be designed primarily for pedestrian comfort and safety.
Historic Character – The character of the buildings and public spaces will be drawn from the architectural history of the neighborhood.
Safety and Security – People will feel safe and their possessions be secure in this neighborhood.
Connectivity – Mid-block streets and pedestrian connections will provide route choices and direct connections to important neighborhood destinations.
Sustainability – Responsible, sustainable developments are valued in the marketplace and are no longer an anomaly. All projects should aggressively integrate the most current green standards, technologies and best practices.
Economic Vitality – Improving the transit gateway to downtown, increasing transit ridership, integrating successful retail uses and developing dense office and residential projects will increase the economic vitality of the district.
Source: Station Center Design Standards and Guidelines
“This is an opportunity to create the most transit-connected neighborhood in Utah,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “Combined with the RDA’s infrastructure improvements, a planned year-round public market, and increased residential density, the Station Center project will have transformative impacts, leading to a new, vibrant, pedestrian-scale neighborhood right downtown.”
The development will utilize a 2-block area outlined by 500 to 600 West and 200 to 400 South, near Pioneer Park, owned by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City. This part of town has faced challenges with homelessness and drug activity over the years, but recently experienced a boom of sorts with Parkside Lofts selling out two phases of the development. Overall there is optimism that the project will become a vibrant, pedestrian friendly, neighborhood.
Central in the plan is “Festival Street” located on 300 South. This area will be designated to host large-scale events, but will also serve as an activity center during non-event times.
Construction on the project is expected to begin next year and will take roughly three to five years to complete.