DOWNTOWN BUZZ

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Utah’s economy is hot hot hot and vacancy rates for apartments, office space and retail space are about as rare as the Steak Tartare at the Paris Bistro. Here’s the good news in what to look forward to in our city…with just a side of sad. Closures bring new beginnings though, right?  The gourmet hot dog shop next to Juniors Tavern will now be a Greek souvlaki joint. After 19 years downtown Iggy’s sports bar has shut their doors at the Pioneer Park location. Their lease was up in the Homestead Suites and they opted not to renew. All their other locations along the Wasatch front are doing great.  Ken Milo’s ‘DOPO’ Italian restaurant has been closed for months at the Gateway with a sign in the door saying their chef died. The pastry case has had the same sweets molding in the cold case all summer long. ‘Twist’ restaurant and bar has opened in Exchange Place across from Maxfields. Bad Ass Coffee is moving to the vacated deli at the entrance to American Towers Condos.

        That aweful fenced-up eyesore just east of the Bourbon House on 200 South (formerly an Eat A Burger) is going to be a hotel. Owners have bought and parceled together pieces of land around the building and will put up a little boutique place similar to a Hotel Monaco.  The new digs will sit at the entrance to the new Regent Street entertainment alley being built behind the mega-performing arts theater that will open in the Fall of 2016. The Bay Leaf restaurant on Main Street will soon have a new cafe from Park City. Patrons will pick from all fresh ingredients on the menu and the chefs will create a meal for you from your choices.  The ‘Chamber of Commerce’ building on 400 South was built over a plaza in an architectural style which made it look much like a popsicle. The owners of the building have decided to build out the main floor where a new tenant (24 Fitness) that will take up a big glassed-in space and make the building square and appear more active to people who drive or walk by the place. Disney gaming has taken up several of the top floors in the past six months so the gym will have almost an instant clientele of night owls.ori

        The original Northwest Pipeline building known later as the Salt Lake Public Safety Building on 200 South has been standing vacant for a few years now. It’s a classic mid-century modern design known as a corporate “International Style”, similar to the First Security Bank Building  (now the Ken Garff Building) on 400 South. The Utah Heritage Foundations wants us all to save the former cop shop. The city’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Division wants to help turn it into affordable housing units with shops on the main floor, so watch for opportunities for public feedback because affordable housing is a rare commodity these days. Salt Lake City has reported that ‘we need over 8200 affordable housing units NOW’.