Critics of Salt Lake City Project Say It Threatens Culture

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Critics of a proposed mixed-use development in downtown Salt Lake City say it threatens a cultural enclave known as Japantown.

The ancestors of Japanese residents had moved to the region to work in the mines and railroads.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that most of the neighborhood where they lived was razed in the mid-1960s. But the Japanese Church of Christ and Buddhist temple remain.

Opponents say the project would smother the area’s cultural legacy and the two religious sites. They’ve been working to block a zoning change for taller buildings that developers are seeking.

The developer, The Ritchie Group, is hoping to reach a compromise so the project can proceed. Plans call for 650 residential units, hotels, office and retail space, and an underground parking garage.

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