SALT LAKE CITY — The Gateway Inn, once one of the largest drains on police resources in Salt Lake City, is up for sale and is expected to have new owners with redevelopment plans in the coming months.
The listed price is about $8.3 million for the approximately 1.3-acre piece of land on North Temple, just west of I-15. There are already many offers, and only a matter of time before it sells.
“'Grand Boulevard' is how the city marketed [North Temple], and it has not yet come to fruition as that," said Nigel Swaby, chairman of the Fairpark Community Council.
"I recall sitting at this TRAX stop right out here, and watching drug deals go down right where we're standing," Swaby added, speaking with FOX 13 News just outside the motel.
Homicides, drug dealing, prostitution, and many other various calls for services made the Gateway Inn one of the highest resource-draining places in the entire city for the police department.
“With the Gateway going, we're going to see a lot of the crime that's been happening over here go elsewhere," Swaby said.
He said the norm was around 125 calls for service each month at one point. That number is now around 10.
A lot of work has been done by police and others to completely turn the area around.
Another person who has seen the progress is Alex Serrano.
As the owner of "Love N.T.," where he sells coffee and Mexican food, he knows the struggles for local businesses.
“It has been a challenge," Serrano said. “A really good, beautiful challenge for my family, everybody here.”
The building that he occupies is on the corner of the motel, and it too has a storied past.
It started as a Wienerschnitzel, but after multiple murders in the parking lot, the restaurant chain pulled out.
The property was purchased by the new owners of the Gateway Inn, and they are now leasing it to Serrano.
“It's going to look much better without all these hotels,” Serrano said. "We've been doing our part to clean the most we can do. But at the same time, they made better all this space. It's going to be better for the community.”
While Serrano's business is a part of what is up for sale, Swaby says he and others in the community “expect Love N.T. to stay and up until a building permit is pulled by the new owner.”
So as new buildings continue to pop up all over the area, changes are only beginning for a street once marketed as the gateway to the city.
"It's going to help for everybody," Serrano said.