Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Lower downtown gets a shot in the arm

Posted By on Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 1:00 AM

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Boosting the long-blighted southwest downtown area, City Council voted unanimously Feb. 11 to approve a “cooperation agreement” with developer Nor’wood Development Group that pledges at least $20 million in public spending and allows a newly formed business improvement district to issue $50 million in debt.

The public money would be spent on parking, drainage, utilities and street upgrades, including an overhaul of Vermijo Avenue from the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum to Wahsatch Avenue. Nor’wood’s 20-year plan calls for construction of 4,500 residential units, 750,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 500 hotel rooms.

Unresolved is a land swap involving a city tract on Cimino Drive, polluted by a former coal gasification plant, that’s to be transferred to Nor’wood under a 2017 agreement that requires the developer to mitigate the contamination. The property, across from America the Beautiful Park, remains in city hands.

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