If you were in the Founders’ Room of the Zions Bank building on June 16, 2015, then you were part of a conversation about transforming the West Side of Salt Lake City. If you missed the meeting, I'll paint the picture for you.

John Saltas of City Weekly observed that the West Side was once the technology center of Salt Lake City. But that was back when railroads were the cutting edge. There were more than 190 businesses operating in the area. Today, in the Depot District, you'll find a mix of old buildings in need of renovation and new buildings in need of tenants.

One of the Best Places to Live and Work

Salt Lake City has repeatedly been named one of the best places to live and work. The City boasts a well-educated workforce and a strong community of entrepreneurs inventing everything from medical products to high-tech software applications. And yet, large tech companies like Adobe complain that they can’t keep top young talent in the state, because Salt Lake City lacks the culture that other major tech cities offer. If Silicon Slopes hopes to compete with Silicon Valley, then Salt Lake City needs a vision for what it can become.

Imagine if the West Side were to go through a transformation. Imagine clusters of tech companies with young, vibrant work spaces – the kind of places where people can be seen biking to work, playing frisbee with co-workers on their lunch hour, and then sitting down to work together to solve big problems.

Imagine a neighborhood where the architecture was open and friendly, where buildings were as interesting as the people. Imagine more foot traffic than cars (except perhaps the new Google car).

Imagine living in that neighborhood, where you could walk to work during the day, and then go out at night to visit restaurants with personality, modern retail, and the kind of night-life that confirms that you are living in a modern smart city.

Imagine knowing that your new community was green, sustainable and part of a bigger vision for all of Salt Lake City.

What would it take to fill up all those empty buildings at the Gateway? What would it take to bring back customers and make it a vibrant, safe area, both day and night?

Here's a clip from the event on the 16th. Watch the rest of the event here.

Driving Change Together

That kind of change requires community. You are part of that community. You're just not yet involved in fostering the change that needs to occur.

One key to making that change happen will be conversations between people with passion for technology, education, arts, social issues, business, and more, in a forum where each voice has a chance to be heard. Axis Development, LLC has been formed with the purpose of fostering those conversations and leading the development of the Future Salt Lake City. By reaching out to networking hubs within our communities, Axis is already starting the conversation.

If you were in the Founders’ Room on the 18th Floor of the Zions Bank building on June 16, 2015, then you already know that this is not a government-run initiative. It is a movement started by a few very well-connected individuals who are committed to the future of Salt Lake City.

Axis is lead by Peter Corroon, the former mayor of Salt Lake County. The Advisory Boards to the real estate development side of Axis are made up of business owners and entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of technology and education. The Advisory Boards are made up of people who are already shaping the new technology that is changing cities around the United States. It’s Salt Lake City’s turn to attract younger talent by becoming the city of the future.

Now it’s your turn to become a part of that future.

Meet the people who are changing the culture of business in our city. Join the conversation. Get connected and experience the cutting edge of community building. We will change the West Side of Salt Lake City in the next 5 years. The question for you to asking yourself now is, “Do I want to be a part of it?”

Follow and join the conversation here on SLCircle.com and on LinkedIn.

Photo by Garrett