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Richard Piatt reportingSalt Lake City taxpayers are willing to go only so far to keep Nordstrom downtown. That's according to an exclusive Dan Jones poll for KSL and the Deseret News.
The poll presents some interesting opinions about the store's move from Main Street to the Gateway. Talk of Nordstrom's move is still a hot topic. The poll shows about as many people are strongly opposed to Nordstrom moving here as there are strongly in favor of the move. And there is real opposition to the idea of financial assistance for the department store to move.
For a lot of reasons, Nordstrom's move from Main Street to the Gateway seems more likely these days, although nothing is final yet.
But a lot has changed recently: Crossroads mall has been sold; Nordstrom signed a letter of intent to move to Gateway; the mayor and city council want to talk about the move.
It is in that climate that 53 per cent of the 200 people in our poll said they favor Nordstrom's move off Main Street and into Gateway.
- Strongly Favor 22%
- Somewhat favor 31%
- Somewhat Oppose 9%
- Strongly Oppose 24%
- Don't Know 15%
But a closer look at the results also shows a sharp divide about the move. About the same number of people strongly favor the move as strongly oppose it.
Opposition partly comes over concerns Gateway is taking business away from Main Street. For that reason, there is opposition to use of Redevelopment Agency funds-a proposed 4-and-a-half million dollars--to fund a parking garage for Nordstrom.
Financial Help For Nordstrom?
- Favor 11%
- Oppose 87%
Use of taxpayer funds that way is opposed by 87 per cent of the people in our poll. But popular opinion will probably not change the fact that Nordstrom is a good candidate for such funds.
According to those who promote the city to businesses, grants and loans are valuable tools a city uses to guide development, with long-term results in mind.
Bob Farrington/Downtown Alliance " IT HAS TO DO MORE WITH THE KIND OF CITY YOU'RE TRYING TO CREATE AND WHERE YOU'RE TRYING TO BUILD IT, AND HOW YOU'RE USING PUBLIC FUNDS TO GUIDE SOMEONE IN A CERTAIN DIRECTION."