Holy bulldozers, Batman! Downtown Salt Lake is going to feel nearly closed due to construction soon. I mean it—there's so many massive projects about to or that have broken ground, we will all need to find new ways around orange cones. My friend Bill Knowles at the Downtown Alliance is my go-to guy for what's what and what's where. He is a one-man library of factoids about our capital city. And he's who I'll call if I've got a question or a problem with anything from who is moving into X space or why are all the parking spaces on 200 South and 200 to 400 West backwards?
Here's what building projects Knowles will warn you about coming in our near future:
• Liberty Sky: A 24-story residential skyscraper going in at 151 S. State, by Cowboy Partners and the Boyer Co. This will cost $90 million, have 300 units and will butt up against Liberty Crest (another Cowboy project).
• 95 S. State: 24 stories of office space which has already broken ground. The developer is Property Reserve, the private real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
• The convention center hotel at 200 S. West Temple: This place will add 700 hotel rooms to our downtown inventory, plus 62,000 square feet of meeting space and probably a few restaurants and bars. They haven't revealed which hotel chain will operate the project, but that should be announced when they break ground in the next month or two.
• The West Quarter at 100 South and 300 West: This is going to be two 11-story buildings of mixed-use hotel and apartments being developed by the Ritchie Group on Block 67. The developers have asked for an extension from the Planning and Zoning Commission to secure all the permits necessary and we won't see any action on that land till next year.
Don't forget that our airport (which sees 23 million passengers a year) is being completely rebuilt. Phase I will open with great fanfare in 2020 and the Airport Authority is slowly getting us used to the big changes there by starting to re-route the traffic to drive by the new buildings and parking structures. They have already renamed the terminals and announced local vendors and restaurants. Check out the proposed artwork by Gordon Huether to be installed at slcairport.com. It will span 362 feet and is made up of seven miles of aluminum tubing. It's hard to describe until you see the renderings, but stunning!