November 1, 2021
Salt Lake City, Utah — Mayor Erin Mendenhall released the details of an ambitious new plan for Salt Lake City’s Ballpark Neighborhood today. The plan, which the public will soon have the opportunity to provide feedback on, calls for an array of improvements including a new library, new festival street, additional parks, open spaces and improved transportation amenities for the neighborhood like sidewalks, trails and neighborhood level, pedestrian friendly retail and services.
The Ballpark Neighborhood refers to the area of Salt Lake City which runs east-west between State Street and I-15 and north-south between 900 South and 1700 South. The Mayor’s team has been developing the Ballpark Station Area Plan, which lays out a vision for the iconic neighborhood, with the help of community stakeholders and urban design experts for nearly two years.
In her speech, Mayor Mendenhall noted that, because of the proximity to downtown and the presence of regionally significant transportation infrastructure, the neighborhood is already under considerable development pressure. “This new development has added hundreds of new housing units but without additional services and amenities for the neighborhood like sidewalks, trails or neighborhood level, pedestrian friendly retail and services—all vital aspects of activating a neighborhood. We must change that,” explained the Mayor.
“The release of this plan marks a major milestone in the evolution of the Ballpark Neighborhood. I have loved hearing ideas from the community about their dreams for their neighborhood and I think this plan reflects the best of those ideas for the future,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “I hope this plan sparks ongoing collaboration among all of our community partners to make our exciting shared vision a reality in the coming months and years.”
The Mayor highlighted the six “big moves” that are the heart of the new plan and include:
- Creation of a Ballpark Station Area Transit zone in the location identified as the “Heart of the Neighborhood.”
- Reconfiguration of the Ballpark TRAX Station to improve access from the west.
- Improvement of 1300 South for pedestrians by creating new crossings and expanding and upgrading the street level pedestrian experience.
- Creation of a sense of place at and around the stadium and in a way that positively activates the area 365 days a year.
- Repurposing of parking lots and underutilized properties to add activity to the Heart of the Neighborhood.
- Investment in community amenities and green space to balance the growth this neighborhood will see with attributes that improve quality of life.
The new library is planned to provide an indoor community gathering place. The new festival street will serve as a public gathering space for arts and cultural events but will remain open to vehicle traffic when not being used for events.
“We are pleased that adding a City Library location is a major component of the Station Area Plan, as the value a Library brings to a community is boundless. Throughout the planning process we will work closely with the Mayor’s Office, City Council, Ballpark Community Council, and other organizations,” Salt Lake City Public Library Acting Executive Director, Deborah Ehrman said. “Community feedback will also play a pivotal role, as it did with the recent Sprague Branch remodel. We look forward to exploring a permanent presence in the beloved Ballpark neighborhood.”
As part of the announcement, Mayor Mendenhall hosted a pop-up street festival in the area where the new festival street is planned along West Temple and adjacent to the west side of the ballpark stadium. The plan also calls for the expanded use of the ballpark on non-game days to make the stadium a more functional part of the neighborhood.
A link to the Mayor’s full remarks can be found here.
Today’s announcement was the first chance for the public to see details about the plan. The Mayor was joined by community and business leaders who expressed their excitement at the upcoming transformation of the neighborhood. They encouraged community members to provide feedback to the City ahead of the formal adoption of the plan by the Planning Commission and City Council. A 45 day public comment period will be opening in the days to come, during that time the public can provide further comments and feedback on the plan before it is finalized. The public can visit www.slc.gov/StationAreaPlan to view the plan.