Breaking News:

LOCAL NEWS

SLC Council votes to endorse downtown redevelopment plan with tax increase

Jul 9, 2024, 7:15 PM | Updated: Jul 10, 2024, 11:25 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to endorse a proposed downtown redevelopment zone, which would require a 0.5% city sales tax increase to help fund it.

The proposal includes renovating the Delta Center to accommodate the Utah Jazz and the recently acquired NHL Hockey team. The plan was put forth by the Smith Entertainment Group. That group, chaired by Ryan Smith, applied to the city to create the project around the Delta Center, as outlined in SB272, passed during the 2024 session of the Utah Legislature.

The participation agreement between Salt Lake City and Smith Entertainment Group outlines how up to $900 million collected over 30 years from the city sales tax increase will be spent on the revitalization.

Smith Entertainment Group has agreed to a host of conditions including a Delta Center ticket fee, developing the workforce, maintaining gathering spaces, spending $5 million on revitalizing Japantown, and, starting next July, keeping all home games of both the Utah Jazz and Utah Hockey Club at the Delta Center.

The agreement also includes creating a public safety space within the revitalization zone and allocating $5 million toward public art.

Smith Entertainment Group estimates it will spend $525 million of the tax increase for the Delta Center remodel and $375 million for other improvements of the downtown-area district. It estimates the plan will generate approximately $1.2 billion in revenue over the life of the agreement.

“I’m really excited to support the capital city revitalization zone,” said Salt Lake City Council member Eva Lopez Chavez, during Tuesday’s meeting. She said it will support downtown in achieving goals of walkability.

The council members expressed their belief that the agreement will reconnect two chunks of downtown currently broken up by the Salt Palace, and allow the area to thrive.

“This is the first step, a transformational step, but it’s opening the city, it’s improving flow or people and commerce through the city,” said Council member Dan Dugan.

Council members addressed concerns and angry comments they say they’ve received over the agreement. The council explained working tirelessly in the background on negotiations and terms, saying it wasn’t a decision they took lightly.

“I truly believe the proposed agreement is a good deal for Salt Lake City, even though we didn’t necessarily, it doesn’t necessarily address every point and every wish that the public expressed,” said Council member Chris Wharton.

Many members of the Japanese American community attended Tuesday’s meeting, showing support for Japantown. The agreement sets aside money for the revitalization of the area and calls for using commercially reasonable efforts to incorporate Japanese architecture and landscape elements along 100 South facades facing Japantown.

It also asks for a pedestrian connection between the revitalization district and Japantown and minimizing truck loading docks and unloading areas on 100 South — where the current Salt Palace loading docks and parking garage are located.

Jani Iwamoto, with the Japantown Community Preservation Committee and former state legislator and Salt Lake City council member, is hopeful.

“There’s some work to be done for sure,” she said. “But I feel… that there was a lot of passion and commitment to Japantown, which I appreciate.”
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall called the vote a “catalytic day” for the city.

“It’s about much more than sports and entertainment. It’s about the future of downtown,” she said, in an interview after the vote. “It’s about anchoring all of these institutions and making sure that our future is a strong one for the entire city.”

Mendenhall said this is has been a “deeply collaborative” process between Salt Lake City and Smith Entertainment Group.

“I am thrilled that this vision has now a signature in a partnership agreement and the stamp of approval from our City Council,” she said. “It’s a major step forward for Salt Lake City today.”

Mendenhall along with Mike Maughan from the Smith Entertainment Group also released a joint statement Tuesday after the vote. The statement said the unanimous vote was an important endorsement and a positive step to creating a sports, entertainment, culture and convention district.

“We are grateful for the council’s support of this vision that will create a more activated, connected, and family-friendly future for Salt Lake City,” it said.

The endorsement is a step in the process defined by recently passed legislation, on a timetable outlined by lawmakers. The council-endorsed agreement will now head to the State Revitalization Zone Committee. The committee, consisting of two members of both the Utah House and Senate and a person appointed by Gov. Spencer Cox, has 30 days to approve or reject the agreement.

If approved, it’ll land back at the city council for final approval. After final approval, the council will consider adopting the 0.5% sales tax increase and then has until the last day of 2024 to impose the tax.

Mendenhall said Tuesday the sales tax could be activated as early as Sept. 1.

The council has a public hearing scheduled for Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. to gather feedback on proposed zoning changes.

“This is an opportunity for the public to share their input directly with the council,” its website states. Feedback can also be submitted online. The Smith Entertainment Group also has a project website.

The document:

Salt Lake City Council transmittal regarding major terms in SLC revitalization agreement by LarryDCurtis on Scribd

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Power companies are not immune from the pressures of inflation and for us, that means we must pay m...

Matt Gephardt

How to save when higher energy costs have a third of Americans paying their power bills on credit

Power companies are not immune from the pressures of inflation and for us, that means we must pay more to keep our homes livable in these sweltering summer days. And those rising energy costs also trickle down onto us in other ways, i.e. an uptick in the cost of groceries as stores also have to pay more to keep the building cool.

7 hours ago

A woman is dead and her parents in critical condition after temperatures crossed a deadly threshold...

Kiersten Nunez

Young woman dies, parents critical after deadly hike in Snow Canyon

A deadly weekend for hikers in Utah has left three people dead in less than 48 hours, including a father and daughter in Canyonlands.

8 hours ago

Community members gathered on Monday to memorialize the teen killed in a West Valley shooting. (KSL...

Debbie Worthen

Community mourns loss of Judge Memorial athlete following West Valley shooting

Friends and family of a Judge Memorial high school student are mourning the loss of the 17-year-old after he was shot and killed this weekend.

9 hours ago

Department of Public Safety says the threats against state leaders is on the increase. (KSL TV)...

Darby Sparks

As Utah political threats rise, security measures becoming tighter, says DPS

The Department of Public Safety says threats in 2024 have already been high. Given the attempted assassination of a former president over the weekend, they say security measures could become even more rigid for political events locally.

10 hours ago

Judge's gavel...

Mark Jones

Utah man sentenced in smartphone scheme that defrauded investors out of $10 million

A 60-year-old Utah man was sentenced in federal court on Monday to 29 months in jail after he admitted to defrauding hundreds of investors out of $10 million in his smartphone company — SAYGUS.

10 hours ago

Investigators say negligence with fireworks resulted in a devastating fire in Layton that destroyed...

Shara Park

Negligent use of fireworks to blame for Layton fire that destroyed a home and vehicles

Investigators say negligence with fireworks resulted in a devastating fire in Layton that destroyed a family’s home, cars, and primary source of income.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

SLC Council votes to endorse downtown redevelopment plan with tax increase