SALT LAKE CITY — A major downtown redevelopment project is prompting the relocation of several large trees in the city’s central business district.
Salt Lake City’s urban forester has identified 11 trees located along the southeast corner of Main and 100 South that would be impacted by site preparation for the Utah Performing Arts Center and 111 Office Tower slated to begin Jan. 1. When the majority of construction has been completed, similarly sized trees will be planted in their place.
In order to preserve the trees, the city will relocate them to Sunnyside Park and along N Street.
“We understand how important trees are to our community and our downtown environment,” Mayor Ralph Becker said. “Our team is taking great care to relocate trees so they can continue to grow and flourish.”
The relocation is an added expense rather than the less costly option of removing and destroying the trees, said Salt Lake City spokesman Art Raymond. But the effort to save them is well worth it to the community, he said.
“There is the sustainability and environmental awareness that also play a role in preserving the trees,” Raymond said. “It’s a hallmark of a bigger effort and underlying philosophy of what (the city) is trying to do (regarding redevelopment).”
The new Utah Performing Arts Center is proposed to serve as the region’s premier entertainment venue, hosting touring Broadway shows, major concerts and comedy acts while providing an additional venue for local arts organizations.
The 111 Main Office Tower, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill and privately developed by Hamilton Partners, will be a 24-story office building on Main directly adjacent to the Utah Performing Arts Center.