Construction begins on 2100 South bringing mixed feelings for business owners

Mar 7, 2024, 6:48 PM | Updated: Mar 8, 2024, 8:43 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Those who live or spend time in Sugar House have seen plenty of construction these days, and more construction is coming. Construction on the 2100 South reconstruction project began Monday, bringing the busy road down to one lane in both directions.

Salt Lake City officials, including Mayor Erin Mendenhall, kicked off the project during a news conference Thursday inside Unhinged, a business located on 2100 South. Mendenhall admitted to being late trying to navigate construction herself.

“I often get asked, why are you rebuilding 2100 South? But if anyone has driven on 21st South, you know it is bumpy. It is not as pedestrian friendly as it can and should be. And it’s something that has been years in the making,” she said.

The city said the project, used with funds from the 2018 Funding Our Future bond, is aimed at making the area safer for pedestrians and commuters. Mendenhall said the city took into account 14,000 comments that were submitted and work on a final concept for about two years. She said this project is a big undertaking but emphasized how much this area is growing and believes this project will complement that.

“We can’t stop the growth, but we can harness it and guide it to better support our communities.”

The project extends from 700 East to 1300 East. The city said the area will see repaved roads, improvements to infrastructure like water and sewer lines, more space for bikes and pedestrians, more trees, and adding medians to reduce traffic and crashes at left turn lanes.

“This has always been our favorite neighborhood,” said Tina Folster, who co-owns Unhinged, a store focused on items made by local artists. She recently moved her shop to a space on Monument Plaza, which sits along 2100 South. She said she knew construction would be ongoing when she purchased the space.

“The city has been amazing about communicating to us what’s coming and when and what that’s going to look like and if you have a problem here,” Folster said. She said her concern is communicating to customers how to get around the traffic.

“That’s the thing that makes me apprehensive, is just making sure I’m giving my customers the most current information and that they know where they can go.”

However, she’s excited about the potential outcome of the project. Other business owners like Bob Campbell, owner of All About Coins, are not.

“We’re survivors, we’ve been here before but a lot of businesses are not survivors,” Campbell said.

He claims other businesses are already struggling and thinks the final design will make things worse for them and him.

“It’s going to be difficult for people to get to us. In my case, half of my people that will come here will only be able to approach one direction and they won’t be able to make a left-hand turn,” he said.

Mendenhall acknowledged the hesitation the project brings to businesses. She’s encouraging businesses to apply for a construction mitigation grant which will give them $3,000. Mendenhall also said businesses are meant to have direct contact with community ombudsmen to help resolve issues.

As for Folster, she hopes people remember to shop locally.

“We know it’s going to be rough, but we just want to get the message out there that Sugar House is open,” she said.

The project is set to be completed toward the end of 2025. To learn more about it and see construction updates visit Final Concept for 2100 South in SLC.

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Construction begins on 2100 South bringing mixed feelings for business owners