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Salt Lake County Facilitates Economic Relief to Restore Magna Main Street after 5.7 Earthquake

Posted By Regional Development
May 14, 2020

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The 5.7 magnitude earthquake on March 18 shook those in Magna deeply; residents and businesses there were found to be the closest to the epicenter. More than 2,000 aftershocks have been recorded in the weeks following the initial earthquake.

Sites absorbing the brunt of damage were quickly identified and assessed by the State Historic Preservation Office. This includes 24 buildings along Magna’s Main Street, where damage was visible immediately following the disaster.

As part of ongoing earthquake response across Salt Lake County, the Redevelopment Agency approved the transfer of $569,835 on Tuesday, April 28 to create the Magna Main Street Revolving Loan Fund.

In order to provide residents and businesses urgent access to resources to rebuild, repair, and restore in the aftermath, the Salt Lake County RDA has partnered with Preservation Utah to manage the fund and connect eligible residents with this designated aid relief.

 “We heard and felt the concern from Magna businesses and residents after the earthquake, and immediately knew we had to find a way to help those who were most impacted, not just by the health emergency but then also by a natural disaster,” said RDA Director Blake Thomas. “The conversion and transfer of this fund to Preservation Utah allows us to act more swiftly in response to disaster victims’ critical needs and uplift Magna for decades to come.”

All structures in the project area on Main Street are eligible to apply. Funds can be used for restoration, rehabilitation, repair, acquisition, and project fees tied to earthquake damage on exteriors, as well as interiors.

“At the root of this effort you have people at Salt Lake County and at my organization who care deeply about Magna, who recognize that Magna's Main Street is a Utah treasure, and who are willing to partner to ensure that this treasure is not only restored but continues to shine for decades to come,” said David Amott, interim executive director of Preservation Utah, an organization whose mission is to keep the past alive and inspire and provoke a more creative present and sustainable future.

The new Magna Main Street loan fund is possible due to the Magna West Main Street RDA Project Area created in 1988 and started in 1997. While the project area remained unspent for many years, a fund balance of $569,835 remained after collection ended in 2017. Following local inquiries for support in recovering from the earthquake damage, the Salt Lake County RDA was able to quickly take action to repurpose this money for immediate local benefit.

This resource is expected to help improve and beautify Magna for the next 20 years.

“In my over 20 years of working with government agencies on community projects, the work Salt Lake County did with all of the working groups and taxing entities to make this funding available is the fastest I have ever seen,” said Magna Mayor Dan Peay. “In these challenging times, it is to the credit to all who have worked on this that we are able to announce this today. On behalf of Magna, I would like to express my thanks to Salt Lake County, Preservation Utah, the Utah State Historic Preservation Office, the Utah Film Commission, and the Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District. Magna looks forward to participating as a part of this team effort to help rebuild Magna Main Street.”

Those on Magna Main Street who are interested in the program can contact David Amott at Preservation Utah by emailing or by phone at (801) 971-4808, with a loan inquiry form ready to submit.


Quick Facts about the new Loan Fund:
  • Loan terms are up to five years
  • The interest rate is one half of prime at the time the loan is approved, or approximately 1.625% currently
  • Work must be completed within 1 year of disbursement
  • Property types eligible include owner-occupied residential, residential rental, commercial, and mixed-use buildings
  • Loan amounts are dependent on bids submitted with the application
  • As funds revolve, they will likely be used outside earthquake repair to continue improvements within Magna