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The Gateway will be fine

Published March 17, 2012 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

This week marks an important Downtown Rising milestone with the opening of City Creek Center. The Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance applaud the optimism that this project embodies and we are grateful for the investment it represents.

Much will be written about City Creek this week, and it is just one chapter of a much broader story about downtown. We are equally excited about the strength and momentum of other downtown retailer centers on Main Street, Broadway and The Gateway.

A rising downtown tide may create some waves, but it will also lift all ships.

As one of our community's great treasures, The Gateway generates retail, office and residential momentum that continues to transform the western half of downtown. Since it opened, The Gateway has served as one of Utah's most successful mixed-use developments and premiere shopping destinations. This will continue. The Gateway is critical to Salt Lake City's continued success and a fundamental part of our past, present and future.

Amenities like the Olympic Legacy Plaza, Discovery Gateway, the Clark Planetarium and Megaplex 12 set The Gateway apart from other shopping destinations. Retailers like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Z Gallerie, the Apple Store, and Ambercrombie & Fitch create a distinct shopping experience. Underscoring The Gateway's continued vitality, new stores including Bettie Page, Epic Board Shop, Francesca's Collection and G-Star Raw have recently opened or been announced.

Our optimism about the future of The Gateway is also driven by the way it is integrated into the larger neighborhood. The Gateway has a symbiotic relationship with the Utah Jazz and EnergySolutions Arena. The LDS Business College and the BYU Extension at the Triad Center bring students and faculty to the neighborhood. The Hyatt Place Hotel opened at The Gateway a few years ago, and the next phase of office development, Gateway Six, is scheduled to open in June with 100 percent occupancy.

We are also confident about The Gateway's long-term success because of leadership from property owners. Inland Western and The Boyer Company should be credited for their past investments and their commitment to our community. The have built a retail center that will stand the test of time. We stand with them.

We also stand with the independent merchants who are building local businesses throughout the rest of downtown. The urban renaissance inspired by Downtown Rising extends to the nearly 100 downtown store-front businesses that have opened their doors in the past three years. They are an essential part of downtown's story. Linked by a free-fare TRAX zone, complemented by cultural amenities, supported by 30,000 parking spaces and 70,000 daily commuters, downtown truly is on the rise. With plans for a performing arts center, convention headquarters hotel, street car system, public market, film and media center, new office towers, and thousands of new residents, downtown's future is bright.

The waves that may come from this rising tide are not unexpected. We have been preparing for the opening of City Creek Center for years, and the ribbon cutting on March 22 has been highly anticipated. It is part of the inevitable change that drives any dynamic community.

The goal for city officials and business leaders is to manage inevitable change in ways that ultimately strengthen the larger community. We will continue to adapt to changing economic dynamics and shifting demographics as we thoughtfully plan for the future. As we celebrate the opening of City Creek Center this week it is helpful to note that it is but one more chapter in the larger story of Utah's capital city.

Lane Beattie is president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber; Jason Mathis is executive director of the Downtown Alliance.






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