Downtown is an important and central commercial center within the system of distributed commercial nodes through St. George. Its historic and ongoing employment niche is in governance, educational, and visitor services that are unique to the City and region. It’s retail niche is in dining, entertainment, and local specialty shops, with a base of essential retail such as grocery. Arts - a distinctive and important aspect of the Downtown economy - is addressed under the Art & Culture section, below.
To position Downtown for continued economic success, St. George will strive to:
Remain the Regional Center of Governance
Since the founding of St. George, the Downtown area has been the seat of local and regional governance. Downtown’s niche within the system of commercial nodes in St. George depends on retaining a strong cluster of City, County, School District, and Federal branch administrative services and workers.
Maintain City offices and services, and city-owned facilities, in Downtown
Coordinate and collaborate with other governance entities, encouraging them to retain offices and services in Downtown.
Support a Vibrant Office and Commercial Node
Downtown sits among a system of distributed nodes that provide convenient employment and commercial access to areas of St. George. Downtown’s commercial uses are predominantly professional offices, lodging, dining, entertainment, and small-scale specialty retail; with some community and neighborhood-serving commercial uses.
Develop and enhance activity centers and housing to help Downtown businesses attract and retain talented workers.
Convert underutilized right-of-way travel lanes in activity centers to expanded public sidewalks and seating areas.
Offer underutilized right-of-way as a development incentive to encourage private redevelopment that exceeds zoning requirements to advance the goal(s) of this Plan.
Review zoning and update as needed to ensure desired commercial uses are easy to establish in Downtown.
Ensure a long term mix of residential and nonresidential uses with zoning standards for ground floors in Lively and Connected Corridor Character Areas.
Regulate to ensure that most new mixed use buildings in Lively Character Areas are built able to readily install the necessary equipment for a full-service restaurant (e.g., plumbing for grease interceptor, ductwork for exhaust hoods).
Connect to other adjacent commercial centers and identify ways to enhance the synergy between Downtown and these areas (e.g., Dixie Center, Tech Ridge, Hospital, Sunset Corner).
Retain and Promote Independent and Local Businesses
Community members value the many local, independent businesses that give Downtown a distinctive character. Support for business can take many forms.
Increase patronage by adding more housing and residents in Downtown.
Develop and manage lively, well-lit, activated community spaces to invite patrons to visit and linger in Downtown.
Provide targeted grant assistance to support enhancements to local and independent businesses and property owners (such as facade upgrades, outdoor patios, shade and cooling, grease interceptors, or similar as needs are identified).
Offer affordable space for start-up local and independent businesses, helping them get established in Downtown.
Embrace Post-Secondary & University Education
Strong public schools enhance the livability and appeal of Downtown’s neighborhoods. Utah Tech University is an important economic driver and asset located in Downtown.
Support Utah Tech University’s Master Plan and efforts to better integrate the campus with Downtown.
Improve streets and trails to enhance bicycle and pedestrian access between campus and adjacent destinations.
Allow new housing development for students via revitalization in Lively and Lively, Connected Character, and Connected Neighborhood Character Areas.
Collaborate with Utah Tech University on branding efforts near campus and along key access routes.
Welcome and Serve Visitors
Visitors help support St. George business, arts, and overall economy, allowing for a wider range of options than the community can support on its own.
Work closely with regional and area organizations to help promote Downtown’s offerings and attractions.
Retain a strong cluster of visitor services and lodging in and near Downtown.
Enhance directional and wayfinding signage to help visitors navigate to and through Downtown efficiently.
Partner to Enhance Downtown District Activation
Coordination among Downtown merchants, arts and cultural venues, property owners, and event organizers can offer synergistic benefits for all. Activities that invite community members to gather in community spaces and linger maximize the benefit of investments in community spaces.
Increase the City's leadership role and capacity to partner on coordination and activation of the Arts District.
Strengthen City Partnerships between Arts and Economic Development.
Activate the district with regular, worker- and family-friendly activities on weekend days and evenings.
Coordinate collaborative marketing and branding efforts for Downtown, including media, events, banners and similar.
Coordinate arts performances and events with evening merchant hours to extend informal evening leisure for patrons.
Enhance pedestrian scale lighting in Downtown public spaces to invite the community to continue use of these areas after dark.