After nearly two years, construction on Regent Street in downtown Salt Lake City is complete.
Regent Street has been undergoing a facelift since the summer of 2015. Now, Mayor Jackie Biskupski says it’s open and ready for businesses to move in.
"We have new locations for you to go to for shopping, for food, and entertainment opportunities," Biskupski told a small crowd of people anxious to see the new street Thursday evening.
Regent is a small road between State and Main Streets, directly behind the Eccles Theater. Now that it’s open, the street provides a direct path between City Creek and the Gallivan Center, cutting through mid-block. Lara Fritts is the city’s director of economic development.
"If you’ve lived in Salt Lake for a while you know we have some pretty big blocks, especially if you have to walk them," Fritts says. "The goal was to break these blocks up, so they’re a little more walkable."
A century ago, Regent Street was home to Salt Lake City’s red light district. Today, it’s still pretty bare. Street lights pay homage to the nearby Broadway-style theater, and Fritts says there are plenty more opportunities for public art along the street.
There are ten empty storefronts along Regent, but Fritts says they’ll be filled with retail and restaurants in the coming months.
"As our culture is becoming more experiential, we’re becoming less focused on goods and more focused on experience," she says. "And what makes an experience but food and beverage?"
There’s an empty lot at the end of Regent on 200 south. Fritts says there are plans to build a boutique hotel on that space.