By Nigel Swaby
North Temple seems to have taken a turn for the worse since the temporary police station was vacated in May. Besides an uptick in loitering and littering in front of the former Arctic Circle property, a woman was shot and killed in broad daylight on August 15. While police crime statistics for District 2 seem to be flat, the property crimes of burglary and auto theft increased a bit last May.
The Gateway Inn was sold and the new owner, David Pope, seems to have relaxed the standards employed by the previous owners who faced a nuisance ordinance violation. Pope also owns the Main Street Motel further south. Nearby residents have complained about its operation and there was a woman murdered there last October.
The River District Chamber recently sent a letter to the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office asking for additional police help on North Temple including re-opening the temporary police station, restoring camera surveillance and starting nuisance ordinance violation proceedings against David Pope. The property owner who owns the former Arctic Circle location has agreed to again host the police at his location. He also revealed the property is being sold and the plan is to redevelop multi-family housing.
A feasibility study for the development of a Public Market at or near the Fairpark is in its final stages. The technical advisory committee decided on a phased approach to the Market concept which will include an evening market and other programming which will activate the Fairpark more frequently. The firm doing the study should release its results to the RDA by the end of the year.
The art installation on North Temple will have its public opening on September 16 at 11 a.m. with a walking tour starting at Mestizo Coffee House and ending at Red Iguana 2. This is a project several years in the making, which is one of the many steps necessary to transform North Temple’s image.
While North Temple seems to have taken a step backwards, the coming investment by businesses, the Fairpark and other government organizations tells me this setback is only temporary.
Nigel Swaby is a Fairpark resident, and Chair of the River District Chamber.