(Heel of Hand to Head)It’ Not Community, Stupid – It’s All About the Money! (Sugarhouse, cont’d)

Owner/Developer Craig Meachum is evicting local merchant tenants from their building in a matter of months.  Meachum owns the building outright, yet claims it’s “his turn” since he supposedly has given these businesses “a break” (see article below).  His “turn” for what?  He not only owns that block, he also owns high rise buildings east of that block.  This seems to me like the same old story – the rich getting richer at the expense of those who strive to build small, local-based community.    So…….

SUPPORT THE BUY-COT OF SUGARHOUSE BUSINESSES!

Patronize the businesses that are being forced to move from historic Sugarhouse!

Beginning the first Saturday in April, the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month there will be a merchant festival until July when the businesses have to leave.

“We are going to make this a Wake instead of a Funeral” – Andy Fletcher of Orion’s Music

Here are links to recent articles and interviews:

http://www.kcpw.org/article/3147

Bottomline Rewind: Master Plan and Zoning at Odds in Sugar House

Mar 12, 2007 by Lara Jones

Successful Small Biz Fall Victim to Redevelopment

(KCPW News) Today’s Bottomline panel talked about changes in the Sugar House business district. Concentrated on the southwest corner of 2100 S. and 1100 E., a new round of redevelopment may see neighborhood favorites like Orion’s Music, Luna’s Italian Ice and the Free Speech Zone close as property owners demolish and rebuild a mixed-use project featuring ground-floor retail with offices and residential condominiums in their place. While the old merchants are welcome in the new project, the higher rents owners will be able to charge will most likely prevent them from staying. Salt Lake City Councilman Soren Simonsen, whose district includes Sugar House, says the area suffers from a disconnect between master plan goals and current zoning — with small businesses paying the price:

http://www.kcpw.org/article/3149

Sugar House Developer Says ‘It’s My Turn’

Mar 13, 2007 by Lara Jones

Media Unfairly Painting Him Unsympathetic to Small Biz

(KCPW News) The Sugar House business district is experiencing another wave of redevelopment, which means small locally-owned businesses clustered at the intersection of 2100 South and 1100 East face expulsion as property owners and real estate investors take advantage of a hot economy. In the process, developer Craig Meacham says he’s been unfairly portrayed by the media as someone out to make a buck at the expense of small businesses:

“I’ve tried to be very fair and equitable with these tenants; many of these tenants have been there for an extended period of time at a reduced rate,” says Meacham. “I think that I’ve been more than fair with these tenants and if their business plan is going to work, they know by now. So I kind of feel that it’s my turn, frankly.”

Meacham has owned a stretch of buildings on the west side of 1100 East, south of 2100 South, for the last 15 years. He says he’s seen business go through several up and down cycles, and now is the right time to redevelop his property:

“We anticipate taking down this property – which is very old, very dilapidated and frankly needs to come down – and we want to replace it with something much nicer. It would be an office complex and some condominiums, and retail on the ground floor.”

Rents will be much higher, Meacham admits, meaning many current tenants won’t be able to afford it. He still needs to finalize construction plans and go through the city permitting process, but Meacham says he hopes to begin demolishing property by summer or fall of this year. As a result, many merchants are getting eviction notices.

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