In 1998, the Union Pacific railyard sat vacant in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Four years later, the 30-acre site was transformed into a mixed-use urban district with specialty stores, restaurants, offices and apartments. A children’s museum and planetarium offered cultural and learning opportunities. And the project’s open-air plaza served as a place for international celebration during the 2002 Winter Olympics. The Gateway, a $375 million project, is the first phase of a 650-acre brownfield redevelopment plan. It employs nearly 6,000 people and serves as a downtown center for public gatherings, exhibitions and performances. Apartments and condominiums make The Gateway a 24-hour district.
Salt Lake City had lost commercial activity, particularly retail, and housing to the suburbs. In 1997, Jerde identified the site as an opportunity to bring business and activity back to the downtown core and teamed up with a local developer, The Boyer Company, to transform the abandoned rail yard into a community focal point. Both culturally and financially, The Gateway became a remarkable success, bringing in $20 million in annual sales tax to Salt Lake City. In the first month, many retailers broke national sales records – two months before the Olympics hit town. A complete community experience, The Gateway provides housing in the form of 330 multi-family apartments, half of which are low-income, and 150 luxury condominiums.
The 141,000 square meters of buildings have a consistent design that is a celebration of the natural setting of Salt Lake City, incorporating brick, sandstone and concrete. The project is not enclosed, but open to the air and the outdoors. The restored, historic Union Pacific depot serves as the entry to The Gateway, opening to Olympic Legacy Plaza, a communal gathering place. An internal street connects the plaza to the project’s south side, an area specifically devoted to nightlife and entertainment. The street is lined by two levels of retail, entertainment and cultural uses. Housing is placed above retail on the west side of the plaza with office space above retail on the east side, which borders downtown commercial uses. Looking beyond the project site of three city blocks, Jerde’s plan anticipates infill development between The Gateway and the heart of Salt Lake City to create a two-mile pedestrian loop that would increase foot traffic within the downtown core.
Opening Date: November 1, 2001
Investment: $375 million
Gold Nugget Awards Grand Award
Best Mixed-Use Project, 2002
• 350 apartments (156 low-income housing)
• 150 luxury condominiums
• Two levels of retail that attracted many new retailers to the area
• 90 shops and restaurants
• Creek water feature inspired by a creek that was long ago diverted from the site
• Olympic Legacy Plaza and Fountains
• New home of Children’s Museum of Utah and Hansen’s Planetarium
• 12-screen multiplex
• Restored historic Union Pacific depot serves as site of House of Blues and Virgin Megastore
Site Area: 30 acres
Total Area: 141,000 square meters
Housing: 47,000 square meters
Office: 33,000 square meters
Culture: 11,000 square meters
Retail: 45,000 square meters
Entertainment/dining: 6,000 square meters
Parking: 3,114 spaces