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SUGAR HOUSE - Inside SugarHouse Coffee, T-shirts for sale hanging in the window read, "The Last and Final Step." A sign tells customers all proceeds from the shirts will offset the cost of moving.

As of Saturday, those T-shirts aren't the only way to offset the cost. Mayor Rocky Anderson announced financial help for Sugar House businesses displaced by upcoming redevelopment projects.

"There are some places that historically have had this charm that comes with local unique businesses, and we ought to preserve that," Anderson said while standing on the corner of 1100 East and 2100 South.

The proposed area of development is the so-called Granite block, from McClelland Street (1045 East) to Highland Drive, and from 2100 South to Sugarmont Drive (2225 South).

Salt Lake City developed the assistance programs through its Economic Development Department and Redevelopment Agency. The programs provide help to businesses near construction, those that will be displaced and others willing to relocate to a new spot in Sugar House.

Anderson said the development project was prompted mostly by the condition of some of the buildings. "It's not our decision; they're doing it within the law," he said.

"Some of these buildings aren't in the best of shape and the landlords are trying to be responsible, but at the same time, we're trying to get them decent financial return."

A crowd gathered to listen to the mayor and members of the City Council. Someone in a passing car voiced their displeasure with the project by shouting, "Thanks for ruining Salt Lake," while City Council member Soren Simonsen thanked the community for supporting the project.

Barbara Green, a board member of the Sugar House merchant's association, said she has received numerous calls about the construction, which has yet to begin.

"When it does happen, it will be contained to this block," she said. "The streets will be open, the sidewalks will be open and you'll be able to shop your favorite Sugar House stores during the construction time."

As if on cue, an observer immediately shouted, "Not if they're closed!"

Green said the merchant's group is saddened by the redevelopment.

"It's very difficult to relocate businesses, "she said. "Beside just moving, you've got to let people know. That's why we're trying to help them every way we can.

"I think psychologically, the whole idea is difficult for people who have to relocate."

In an effort to promote locally-owned businesses, Anderson also made another announcement about limiting the number of retail chains and franchises in Sugar House and other areas.

"In the coming months, we will submit a proposed ordinance to the City Council limiting the number of new formula businesses . . . in certain areas of our city, like Sugar House, the 15th and 15th area, the 9th and 9th area and the Broadway Boulevard area," Anderson said.

What's next

Alison McFarlane, Salt Lake City's senior adviser for economic development, said a rendering of the redeveloped block could be ready in three weeks.

"The planning department met [property developer] Craig Mecham this week and we anticipate he'll be submitting plans in about three weeks. When his plans come in, the planning staff will sit down with both developers to try to get some sort of a cohesive application."

Three plans for helping out

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced three programs to help businesses that are affected by redevelopment or construction in Sugar House:

* A $20,000 loan with 3 percent interest available to businesses within half a city block (330 feet) of the construction.

* Loans up to $100,000 for businesses that have operated for at least three years and are being displaced because of the redevelopment.

* The city's Redevelopment Agency has a matching-grant program that will give $15,000 to a business that relocates to another location in Sugar House. The grants will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis until the total fund of $100,000 is allocated or until January 2008, whichever comes first.