To the editor:
Good article on Town/Gown relations and Logan as a “college town.” The mayor and City Council people are to be commended for their vision.
What makes a town vibrant? Exciting? One correlate is a high-density population. Tempe and Arizona State University have that. ASU has also moved students and learning centers to downtown Phoenix, which has been dead, and a revival is underway there. SLC/UU/BYU are attempting the same in downtown Salt Lake City.
So what can Logan do? It can encourage higher density development in the downtown area. If I could find a 2,000 square foot apartment/condo on a fifth floor of a building with retail on the ground floor, and parking underneath, I’d leave Hyde Park in a flash, no disrespect to our fine neighbors here.
Higher density would produce an influx of businesses that one could walk to for groceries, services, and entertainment. It might become a somewhat edgier environment but more people around at night may make it more, not less safe. (I have never felt threatened in Tempe or Boulder.)
Build it and we will come, but first get over the old building standards that unnecessarily restrict height. Make it possible for developers to construct multi-story buildings with retail on the ground floor and a number of floors of nice apartments above and watch the downtown area revive.