With a $1 billion-plus investment in downtown being made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and at least another $300 million from Wasatch Real Estate Partners for several skyscrapers the time is right to update downtown's big picture, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce told the Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday.
The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce is updating its "Second Century" plan as a sequel to a model from 1960. The new plan, which the chamber expects to finish by the end of the year, will focus on providing for downtown infrastructure in much the same way the 1960 plan foresaw the Gallivan Plaza, Main Street plaza, downtown public transportation, Abravanel Hall and the Salt Palace Convention Center, said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber.
The chamber does not yet have specific targets for the second century update, but it hopes to start focusing on the possibility of a downtown arts district and branch out from there, said Natalie Gochnour, spokeswoman for the chamber.
That's encouraging to Dell Loy Hansen, CEO of Wasatch Real Estate Partners, who said his company focuses on action downtown rather than talk.
"We don't talk a lot we do a lot," Hansen said. "We watch them debate, but we consider ourselves action people."
Recent action for Wasatch Real Estate Partners and its affiliated companies included purchasing the Ken Garff building on the corner of 400 South and Main Street, the Wells Fargo Building on the corner of 300 South and Main Street, and the Chase building on West Temple and 300 South.
The company also plans to break ground in September on a 21-story office building on Main Street and 200 South. Additionally, Hansen said, the company is planning 100 housing units for the corner of 300 East and 100 South.
"We're a significant benefactor" downtown, Hansen said, citing projects announced and still forthcoming in the area from 100 South to 400 South, between 300 West and 300 East.
The Salt Lake Chamber also asked the city Tuesday to split evenly the costs for a construction mitigation contract as the LDS Church and Wasatch Real Estate Partners break ground downtown."I believe that we have reached the tipping point between pragmatic patience and a genuine missed opportunity," Beattie said. "We cannot wait any longer. . . . Now is the time to act."