Salt Lake City’s downtown is experiencing unprecedented growth on all fronts. More housing options for downtown will be developed in the next ten years than in the previous century, according to a 2016 Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute report at The University of Utah. It is anticipated that more than 3,000 apartments and condos and 20,000 residents will be added to downtown by 2020. This coincides with the spike in businesses that want to locate downtown to attract younger professionals. A recent U.S. News and World Report ranked SLC as the 10th best city to live in the U.S. Downtown development has enhanced many appealing central business district amenities such as pedestrian-friendly streets and bike lanes, easy access to light rail transit, entertainment options including a new theater district, a better than average percentage of new homeowners and plenty of arts and cultural attractions.
Downtown area schools
Not only are there plenty of options for K-12 education in private, public, parochial and charter schools within the downtown neighborhood but the convenience of the Utah Transit Authority’s light-rail TRAX system makes access to all unique opportunities near downtown as easy as possible. Salt Lake City’s public school district includes several downtown elementary schools such as Lincoln and Ensign. The Madeleine Choir School, well-known for a curriculum infused with music beginning in the lower grades and expanding through chorister development and choir performances in the upper grades. The City Library offers an early literacy and reading program, frequently cited as a model for other metropolitan libraries. Marmalade, the second downtown library branch, is located on the northwest side of the area near West High that is also a hub for the school’s International Baccalaureate program and one of the city’s most eclectic neighborhoods.
Shopping, dining and services are expanding quickly every year in downtown. Yearly retail sales are expected to top $900 million, with the City Creek shopping center as a leading destination. Grocery store options have expanded significantly including a full-service supermarket near City Creek as well as major outlets, both locally owned and nationally franchised, that also promote products of local food purveyors. Restaurant options have grown with numerous restaurants gaining more attention from residents as well as visitors for conventions and outdoor recreation. They include independent restaurants devoted to sushi, authentic Mexican fare, Spanish-inspired tapas and continental American and European cuisine.