SALT LAKE CITY — The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City has big plans for the area known as Central Ninth.
A groundbreaking was held Wednesday at a vacant lot at 153 W. 900 South for the new Central Ninth Market, specifically designed for locally owned businesses.
“To the best of my knowledge, this will be the first development that's intentionally created with locally owned businesses in mind that is 100 percent locally owned," said Kristen Lavelett, executive director of Local First Utah.
The area has several new businesses already open and soon six more locally owned and operated companies will occupy the 9,216-square-foot building, including Jade Market, which will stand as the first local food market in the neighborhood.
The other retailers include: Laziz Kitchen, From Laziz Foods; the nonprofit organization Local First Utah; Meditrina Small Plates and Wine Bar, which is relocating from its ballpark area location; Troubador Salon; and Water Witch, a neighborhood bar from the special event bartending event group Church and State.
Designed by Atlas Architects and to be built by STS Contractors, Central Ninth Market will feature an energy-efficient design and utilize locally sourced, sustainable materials and labor. It will also feature two outdoor dining areas and a public art installation by local artists Mark Hofeling and Christian England.
“This was an old Sure Appliance building. It's been demolished, and it's going to become a central hub, not just for the surrounding neighbors, but for even blocks farther,” Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall said. “This Central Ninth location is the focal point of a much larger vision for 9th South that would run the entire length of 9th South, connected by rail.”
And with a TRAX stop and freeway access right there, accessibility is a breeze.
"But when people come to visit, this is the kind of place they look for,” Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said. “They want a unique, local experience."
The project was made possible in part by financing from Greater Salt Lake Development Corp. and the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City’s revolving loan fund.
The city's redevelopment agency has watched the area for years, looking for the right fit to revitalize the neighborhood.
"We know that four times more money stays in our economy when it's spent with locally owned businesses, and far more than that, locally owned businesses contribute to our sense of character and our sense of place in our communities,” Lavelett said.