Downtown Sucking 

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I think John Saltas [“Tres Cities,” Private Eye, July 29, City Weekly] hit the nail on the head with his Chicago and Toronto piece. There’s obviously no comparison with Salt Lake City and Toronto. The LDS Church’s pet project “Downtown Rising” and Toronto’s CGH (Commercial Growth Hormone), as Saltas so eloquently puts it, are a dichotomy of sorts.

That said, downtown Salt Lake City will never be as big and dense, and as cool and sophisticated as downtown Toronto, with all these new high-rise residential/office towers they have going up in the construction pipeline, with its great, big, huge, massive skyline on crack. Dear God. Where are all the towers in downtown Salt Lake City, with its boring, dull, virtually nonexistent skyline?

Downtown Salt Lake City is an embarrassment, particularly the areas surrounding The Gateway, the Salt Palace Convention Center, Temple Square, Gallivan Plaza, the Wells Fargo Center and the Grand America. Downtown Salt Lake City is a dump, for lack of a better term.

Why don’t we spruce up downtown with a new tallest tower, perhaps a new signature tower that would help redefine the skyline? A new office, hotel, residential, retail, entertainment, transportation district on the corner of 200 South and State Street, where Carl’s Jr. now stands, would be a cool addition downtown. Imagine having an underground bus depot like in downtown Denver, only better.

Basically what would make this city more livable is to have a new Dave & Busters, Dunkin’ Donuts, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and Popeyes, and have more bars and nightclubs locate downtown. Sadly, there are no more liquor licenses left in Utah. If he were still alive today, do you think Brother Brigham would mind opening another state liquor store here and there? I think not.

Well, maybe—just maybe—if Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, the City Council, and Gov. Gary Herbert pulled their heads out of their collective asses, we’d be making some major progress downtown.

Downtown Rising? Ha-ha! Yeah, right ... more like CGS (Commercial Growth Suckage) if you ask me.

Jordan Taggart
Salt Lake City

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