(KCPW News) From his office downtown, Jason Mathis looks out over the city spiked with cranes. And as the new Downtown Alliance executive director, he'll have an important role to play in the completion of the Downtown Rising vision.
"I love to look out at the city and see all these cranes," Mathis says. "I mean, I think that is the sign of development, that's the sign of progress, that's the sign of moving forward and having a very dynamic and exciting city as we move forward, even beyond our current state."
Mathis says he's looking forward to heading the Downtown Alliance during such an exciting time for downtown. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-backed City Creek Development is the largest of these projects, but others include the 222 South Main project and a new downtown theater.
This large-scale redevelopment plan also has some risk, as the state follows the nation into what could be a prolonged recession. But Mathis says he's not worried about Downtown Rising falling apart.
"Nobody knows exactly what's going to happen in the future, but certainly you have some really big players, who have made a substantial, significant commitment to this community," Mathis says. "And that gives me a lot of comfort."
Mathis has managed communications at various Utah nonprofits for the past 15 years, including his latest stint as Intermountain Healthcare's spokesman. He replaces Bob Farrington, who left the Alliance in June to lead Salt Lake City's economic development department.