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May. 24, 2013

SLC to Build Broadway-scale Performing Arts Venue after City Council Approves $18 Million Boost

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A $100 million dollar feature is edging closer and closer to Salt Lake City’s downtown. Mayor Ralph Becker’s pet project of late was a massive performing arts center that had only recently made it into the voting process and reports by The Salt Lake Tribune had been placing it in pole-position to receive the backing it required to get off the ground. After passing in a 5-2 vote during the latest City Council meeting, the colossal theater will be receiving $18 million in designing the structure that at its completion will have required $110 million.
The mayor and his team have presented the 2,500-seat construction as a major arts hub that will aid in revitalizing an area that will suffer as soon as the $2 billion City Creek opens. The project should also encourage big-name productions to frequent SLC and stimulate the arts sector overall, proponents believe. The aim is to also create an environment that will attract not only visitors but eventually jobs to the vicinity of the project, set to take form between 100 South and 200 South. In addition to that the investment would not be as demanding to local authorities seeing as interest rates are low at this time.
A project this size, especially one that will benefit from a consistent amount of public funding, has its critics, and their arguments have been noted by The Tribune. Those opposing the Broadway-level playhouse have invoked funding issues as Salt Lake County has not yet pledged its 20 percent for the deal. Apart from funding troubles, those opposing the idea claim a theater project this big will only do harm to existing arts venues and will eventually come up short because of the big bucks Broadway-level productions charge visitors.

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