(NewsWire) Salt Lake City, UT
Once lauded for its eccentric personality, eclectic boutiques, and oozing counter culture, the popular Salt Lake City neighborhood of Sugarhouse has been declared “completely unlivable” by a vocal group of local residents. The announcement comes as a shock to local developers, who have invested substantial capital into the Sugarhouse community and have assured the dissidents their plans for the future are exactly what residents have wanted from their neighborhood.
On Tuesday, leaders of the opposition released a statement in a series of sharply worded tweets intended to stop the “systematic genocide” and “cultural skullfucking” of the neighborhood, suggesting that the gentrification of Sugarhouse has resulted in the mass exodus of students, hippies, and degenerates that made the area desirable for years.
“The students and counterculture figures that built Sugarhouse are all but gone, replaced instead by different students, and different businesses that we don’t really know,” said local activist Cole Sampson. “I mean, it used to be that I could walk into the old movie theater and the kid behind the counter was that sack of shit Matty the Mooch. Now the theater is different and Matt doesn’t even work there. Who the fuck is this kid serving me popcorn? What happened to Matty? Those are the questions that aren’t being answered.”
After demolishing Fats Grill and a mostly vacant office center, developers want to assure local Sugarhouse residents that the changes are meant to improve upon an already great neighborhood.
“Everyone who knows Sugarhouse knows that the elements we are changing are meant as an improvement. You can’t paint this neighborhood with a broad brush. We’re carefully examining which businesses can be sold and reopened under new management, and which need to be replaced by a Petco,” explained lead developer Marcus Emery.
Developers and the Sugarhouse planning committee say they’re both surprised by the public outcry, especially since these plans have been in motion for several years now.
“All we want to do is expand on the already great culture that’s been miraculously cultivated by the lowlifes and gutter punks that used to inhabit the area,” said Emery. “The fact is, all your favorite Sugarhouse restaurants and shops are still there and will be, except for the ones we need to force out for condos, student penthouses, and popular franchises.”
Part of the Sugarhouse Masterplan includes simulating the local economy by bringing more suburban shoppers to 2100 South.
“We want to make Sugarhouse more agreeable to the South Jordan and Draper palate, so naturally pairing locally-owned staples with the likes of Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A, Whole Foods, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond makes the most sense,” says Emery. “Utah consumers want a bit of edge with their strip mall shopping. All we’re doing is giving them bubble wrap so they can truly enjoy what makes this neighborhood so unique.”
“These stucco-living parasites ride into town with their eight kids piled into an SUV and drive up and down 2100 South constantly looking for parking and ice cream,” says Sugarhouse resident Paul Stewart. “Sugarhouse used to be walkable, bikeable, and drivable. Now I literally can’t do any of those things. I can’t drive. I can’t walk. I can’t bike. I’ve been holed up in my basement apartment since graduation. It’s a goddamn Mad Max hellscape out there. It’s practically Ogden.”
With little affordable housing in the immediate area, former residents are forced to look elsewhere for reasonable rent prices, community events, and locally-owned businesses.
“What am I supposed to do? Live in the Marmalade District? With all the car break-ins? Ugh, no thanks. That hill is really tall too. No thanks,” said Stewart. “It’s not like we can just walk into Capitol Hill, Rose Park, West Valley, or South Salt Lake, rent a home at a livable rate, frequent local restaurants, host concerts, get involved in local elections, open small boutiques, and support the community.”
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