Work on Sugar House Monument Plaza to begin

Posted at 8:51 PM, Aug 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-04 08:59:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The landscape of one of Sugar House's busiest intersections is about to change as Salt Lake City begins a $2.5 million renovation project.

Monday, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City breaks ground on Sugar House Monument Plaza.

It will be located at the corner of 2100 South and Highland Drive, in front of the new Sugar House Crossing complex.

According to RDA, the plaza will be about an acre of open public space. It will contain rows of trees, landscaping, lights, bike parking, art elements, tables and chairs. The historic Sugar House Monument fountain will also be reactivated. The idea is for the plaza to hold hundreds of people at a time.

"I think it's going to be really nice when it's done, it's going to be great," said David Cole, owner of The Annex--which is one of a handful of businesses that will be located on the actual plaza. "We have a brewery in Denver, and Denver is really investing in their infrastructure and their open space for people. It makes a big difference."

The biggest change will be the removal of parking spaces as well as the turn lane that is currently used by drivers to access Highland Drive.

"I think it will be pretty rough on traffic," said Michelle Doeris, of Flat Bread Neapolitan Pizzeria, regarding the closure of the turn lane. "This is a nice little secret pathway to get over onto Highland without really dealing with more lights, more stops."

Other businesses, like SLC Hemp, say the concept of the plaza is great, but wonder how much can one store endure before they see a light at the end of the tunnel.

"I've only been here a year, so it's been under construction the entire time I've been here, so I'm definitely hoping for more foot traffic, pedestrians," Owner Adam Wong said.

RDA wants the plaza to be home to many traditional city events, such as the Fourth of July Arts Festival and the Santa Shack.

"I think it's a good thing, construction is always hard but you just have to power through it," said Ashly Burton of Salt Lake Pizza and Pasta. "It's something new that people want to come and see, so it just brings more people to the area."

The project is expected to be complete within 120 days. RDA said drivers should not expect any traffic delays.