Changes to old Shopko location among ongoing improvements in Sugar House

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Sugar House neighborhood is getting more improvements to its ongoing facelift.

During the last few months, multiple construction projects have been ongoing or popping up.

The most visible one is the old Shopko building project off I-80 and the 1300 East exit (Exit 126.)

From the highway you can no longer see the giant block of concrete that was the old Shopko. In its place is an empty space, but soon three new buildings will be built.

They include a new University of Utah Medical Center that will offer a range of health services that includes primary care, preventative care, oncology, and weight loss. There will also be residential space in the other buildings.

A new walking path will be created along the new street that will be built through where the old Shopko building used to be located.

Amy Barry is the vice chair of the Sugar House Community Council, and she has lived in Sugar House for 19 years. She oversees a lot of the ideas and proposals for new projects in the area.

“This was an evolving project,” said Barry as she stood in front of the old Shopko lot. “What ended up getting passed by the planning commission was very different from the initial design concept we saw at the beginning of the year.”

By that she means the developer did not have any final decision made on what would go into the area. However the goal, according to Barry, was that a new street would go through the old Shopko to connect to the other street behind Shopko.

The result was to make Sugar House more walkable in that area, from the shopping center to Sugar House Park. Barry said not everyone loves every idea. She has heard feedback from people who do not want more residential space because the neighborhood streets are already too crowded.

“If you asked five years ago if we need hundreds of more apartments, I would have said no," Barry said. “But these apartments that have gone up in the last few years are all about 90 percent full. “

If you want to learn more about the ongoing and future projects in the Sugar House area, click here.