Marjorie Cortez | Deseret News

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance, channeled his inner Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday in describing development plans for Station Center, a mixed-use urban neighborhood west of the historic Rio Grande Depot.

“This is a big deal. This is a big deal,” Mathis said.

Planners envision Station Center as a mixed-use urban neighborhood with retail, commercial and residential development on about 9 acres between the Depot and UTA’s Salt Lake Central Station.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker described Station Center as the “premier transit-oriented development opportunity in our region and perhaps anywhere in the country.”

“Promoting the development of a new downtown neighborhood where residents will have access to every transportation mode is a key aspect to my livability agenda. New residents of this neighborhood will be able to easily reduce their automobile trips and make positive impacts on our air quality challenges.”

The elephant in the room, or the depot veranda, at least, is what the planned development could mean for The Gateway and services for homeless people who are also part of the neighborhood. Read more