South Salt Lake is a small city with big opportunities. We are a place where people get their start - buy their first home, open their first business, and often, arrive here from another state or country. We are a dynamic and diverse community, and pride ourselves on our welcoming and hard-working attitudes.
The City has long been a "City On The Move" - leading the way in a growing and changing Utah economy. We decided a decade ago that South Salt Lake could and should become a destination with a downtown and walkable urban core. To that end, we have fostered the development of Downtown SSL, a streetcar neighborhood and a Creative Industries Zone. This is bringing more amenities, shopping and dining to our residents and businesses.
With 27,000 residents and over 3,200 businesses, South Salt Lake is small - but mighty. We are an original mixed-use community and take advantage of our location along major thoroughfares, the light rail with commercial buildings ripe for renovation, and a wide mix of businesses and properties at various price points. Our focus today is on infill housing, redeveloping industrial properties into higher and better uses, and supporting walking, biking and transit to connect it all. Even as things change, we remain a tight-knit community where people know their neighbors, support local businesses and enjoy parks, trails and open spaces together.
I invite you to check out our community and find your opportunity!
Investing in Our Future: Downtown South Salt Lake
In 2010, in the depths of the Great Recession Mayor Wood saw something few others could. She saw an opportunity. The real estate world was changing, stimulus funding was coming, and South Salt Lake had all the good cards in their hand. SSL has the ingredients every city wants for a vibrant city center - a great location, transit, industrial land ready to redevelop, and a quirky mix of buildings that could serve all sizes and manner of businesses. Looking both at what other cities were doing and at what was working well within her own community, Mayor Wood set out to build a Downtown.
Many people thought it wasn't possible, and she had to go out on a limb to convince city council, residents, even businesses, that this was what the future held and what her community really needed. It started with the vision for a grocery store and high-quality dining and restaurants. It included a new Streetcar, and urban housing placed strategically at the stops. It had to have biking and improve walkability on the street grid. And of course places to work and create (remember office buildings?). Mayor Wood led the efforts to buy vacant industrial property to kick off the projects, to write new zoning for a downtown district, supported the construction of a combined streetcar and trail corridor and put a fresh new face on the city.
Patience and persistence have paid off as the city experiences an unprecedented building boom. Over a billion dollars of new investment is underway in housing, office, and retail spaces. Dozens of old buildings have been converted and re-occupied the city has a thriving Creative Industries Zone with eight new breweries and distilleries and an eager after-hours scene has taken hold. The community celebrates its Downtown with Mural Fest and Craftoberfest, earning its reputation as the most creative community around. The pace is unrelenting as we approach 2023 and the emphasis is now shifting to more urban parks and trees, more affordable units and expanded cycling facilities. The aerial photos are telling - a one-story warehouse zone is now popping with 4- to 8-story apartments and offices. The population of downtown has grown from approximately 5 people to almost 2,000 with another 2,000 in the permitting process.
A Look into SSL's Future
Mayor Cherie Wood's leadership has been defined by taking the tough problems head-on and turning them into opportunities. The city has never been shy about who it is or what challenges it faces and has a knack for creating its own opportunities. By investing in people, supporting neighborhoods, and reinvesting in its business district, the city is changing day by day into the place Mayor Wood always dreamed it could be. One of Cherie's favorite quotes sums it up: "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do" (credit: Walter Bagehot). She is grateful for the opportunity to serve and to prove that South Salt Lake can get everything it deserves.
In the News
Making the Hub of Opportunity
The 'One Burton' Project
Building great and sustainable neighborhoods is the goal in South Salt Lake. The One Burton project has been in the works for several years, awaiting essential infrastructure updates.
Beyond providing 180 new residential units and 1st-floor retail spaces, One Burton will greatly add to the livability and vibrancy of South Salt Lake's emerging downtown. As the need for affordable housing continues, I continue to seek solutions, resources, and incentives for developers to include affordable units.