November 9, 2012

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The New Performing Arts Center Begins Next Phase

Sarah Cutler

November 9, 2012

The third step of the new Performing Arts Center’s public outreach program wrapped up yesterday at the Gallivan Center with an open house for the community.

Attendees saw the feedback gathered from the public formatted into a display of ideas and beginning stages of the design process. “We’ve been out in the public the last couple of months asking them what they think about the performing arts center, what they want to see downtown, how can it invigorate the area,” said Lindsey Ferrari, consultant on the new center.

The arts center will be a 2,500-seat theater on Salt Lake City’s Main Street. And according to Robert Farrington, economic development director for Salt Lake City Corporation, it’s not enough just to create the space, it needs to be programmed and activated. So the design process has begun to include Regent Street (directly behind the theater, in between 200 and 300 South).

“Regent Street, which has been a backdoor loading alley street, has a good scale and it has a good connection from City Creek to the Gallivan, but that’s about all it had going for it,” said Farrington. “And [City Creek] has the lights that they’ve strung, so the thinking was [to] extend that feel all the way down the street.”

The parking garage on Regent Street has approximately 20,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, according to Farrington. “With some cosmetic changes to that structure, a little bit of extra retail that will be in the back of the theater itself and changes with signage and programming, maybe tables and chairs in the street when it’s not being used for loading the theater, you can really transform that street in to a more intimate, pedestrian feel.”

Regent Street will tie into the entire feel of the reactivated downtown area and will be a part of what the community has asked for in an arts district, which includes the possibility of having art stores and galleries, light displays, “green” walls, temporary art displays, restaurants, coffee and tea shops, a wine bar and a brew pub.

“The general intention of the theater is both to have this new fabulous performance center,” said Farrington, “but it also is meant to be a catalyst for the neighborhood, and that was one of the reasons the site that was picked was chosen.”

In January 2013, a 100 percent schematic design of the Performing Arts Center will be unveiled.
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