Downtown Provo has seen a huge influx in growth over the past year with major projects such as NuSkin’s building, the convention center, and Zion’s Bank bringing a much needed increase in the number of people working in and around the area.
This year the council focused on finding better ways to attract and maintain growth in our downtown. One area that was identified as being important was updating our facade grant program as well as introducing a new blade sign grant.
As pictured above, a downtown business called the Flower Basket Boutique was the first to take advantage of Provo’s new grant program. It took only a few days for them to get their paperwork in and receive approval for their grant.
The total cost of the new sign was approximately $1150, $1000 of which was funded by the grant. The business got a new sign for an out of pocket cost of $150, and the city was able to effectively revitalize a portion of University Ave using only $1000 of redevelopment funds.
From a city perspective this program looks like it will be a very successful tool for improving the appearance of our downtown as well as helping to improve property values for the surrounding neighborhoods.
In the coming weeks we will have the opportunity as a council to retool our under-utilized facade grant program to incentivize more downtown businesses to renovate their buildings – which means more downtown investment as well as an increase in the city’s sales tax revenues.
Many of the windows have been lost, as well as much if not all of the interior. I walked around the building and it appears that much of the brick frame has thus far survived.
The mayor was at the site and seems to have spent much of the day on site helping – I saw several representatives from the LDS church, as well as many other city employees, residents and even other members of the city council. We all share in this tragedy and will do all that we can to help rebuild.
We have all, regardless of faith, age, or origin – shared an appreciation for the historic icon that was the Provo tabernacle. It was host to countless musical events, multi-faith meetings, and a pillar of Provo’s pioneer heritage. It will be missed.
For those that haven’t had a chance yet to drive down Center street, please take a moment to see the amazing lights that city employees did such a good job of setting up.
For an extra treat, tune your radio to 99.9 FM and watch the synchronized light show at 350 West Center St. while enjoying a fun selection of Holiday music.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Portland with fellow council member Vice-Chair Healey and Mayor Curtis. During our visit we were impressed by the heavy population of street vendors and the varied services available within walking distance of our hotel in the heart of Portland’s downtown.
During last Tuesday’s meeting we had the opportunity to discuss downtown zoning and I had the opportunity to bring up something I knew both Mayor Curtis and Councilwoman Cabanilla have expressed an interest in seeing happen: food carts in downtown Provo.
There’s still details that remain to be determined in the next few weeks, but it looks like there’s enough support to start permitting food carts in Downtown Provo. Imagine, after enjoying the Beach Boys at the Covey, how great would it be to walk outside and get a taco afterwards?
Image courtesy of the excellent blog, Food Carts Portland.