Salt Lake City has a number of unique, diverse, and interesting neighborhoods that we, of course, love. In fact, the City recently received some national love as well, receiving a “Main Street America” designation by the National Main Street Center in not one, but two of our neighborhoods. The Granary District (around 800 S and 300 W) and State Street (between 600 and 1000 South) have been named specifically and recognized for their urban revitalization.
“As part of our network across the U.S., Salt Lake City will be featured as a leader in the newly launched Main Street Refresh, and as part of the upcoming national convening of urban commercial district leaders,” says Matt Wagner, Vice President of Revitalization Programs for the National Main Street Center. “Led by Salt Lake City and in cooperation with the National Main Street Center, we are confident Main Street efforts will result in sustainable neighborhood commercial revitalization focused on community engagement, small business and job creation, urban design, and residential vitality.”
Getting the “Main Street America” designation is a big deal in itself, but Salt Lake City is proud to be the first city in Utah with such a designation. “Having previously managed a Main Street Program, I’ve seen first-hand the impact this designation can have on a neighborhood commercial district,” says Lara Fritts, Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development. She adds that the number of unique, up-and-coming neighborhoods makes Salt Lake City is an ideal location for Main Street America. “Watching the growth and transformation in the Granary District and parts of State Street will be an exciting process for our team, local business owners, and residents.”
According to the National Main Street Center’s website, (mainstreet.org), “Every dollar a community uses to support its local Main Street program leverages an average of $18 in new investment, making Main Street one of the most successful economic development strategies in America.” That is an incredible return on investment!
*Mayor Biskupski, Lara Fritts, Matt Wagner announcing designations in March, 2017
This is an exciting time for the City as we are beginning to see the leadership and vision of Mayor Jackie Biskupski, the knowledge and expertise of Director Lara Fritts, the hard work, creativity, and dedication of the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and Neighborhood Development come to fruition. In addition, it’s cool to see local businesses take advantage of programs like the RDA’s Granary Adaptive Reuse Grant and HAND’s Neighborhood Building Improvement Program, and to see some of our neighborhoods get a little revitalization shot in the arm.
So, again, many thanks and much gratitude to Matt Wagner and the national Main Street Center for the recognition in Salt Lake City. We are honored.
*Blog post contributed by William Wright