Developer envisions a power block downtown

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The Salt Lake City downtown skyline with Block 67 at the center.
Rendering of the first phase of the Block 67 development looking east from 300 West.

Developer Ryan Ritchie, of The Ritchie Group, has big plans for the 200 West block of 200 South.  The block, also referred to as Block 67, is well situated next to the Salt Palace Convention Center to the east and the Vivint Smart Home Arena to the west.  The Ritchie Group plans to convert Block 67 into a large, urban mixed-use district with several buildings on the northwest and southeast corners of the block.

“We are excited to have these in the downtown setting,” said Ritchie.   “This is really going to be a power block.”

On Wednesday Ritchie presented his firm’s updated plans for Block 67 to a group of local downtown stakeholders in a meeting hosted by the Downtown Alliance.

Map of Block 67 with adjacent blocks.

The project will be built in two phases and will replace a surface parking lot and the Royal Wood Plaza building.

The first phase will occupy the block’s northwest corner and will consist of two buildings, a residential mixed-use building and a hotel.   Both buildings will be 11-stories tall with ground floor commercial.

The residential building will occupy the corner with frontage on both 100 South and 300 West.  The residential building will have around 230 units on the top ten floors and over 12,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground level.  The residential building will also include two floors of subterranean parking.

The hotel building will have two hotel brands, Aloft and Element.  Both brands are under the Starwood Hotels group which was recently purchased by Marriott International Inc.    According to Ritchie, the hotel building will have about 271 rooms with a cafe and deli on the ground floor and a rooftop bar.

When asked about potential impacts the Convention Center Hotel could have on any new downtown hotels, Ritchie was optimistic that boutique-style hotels like the one he proposes would compliment a large convention hotel.

Site plan for Block 67.

The first phase buildings will be separated by a new street that will connect the northeast corner of the block to 200 South.

The developers will need to go before the Salt Lake City Planning Commission for a conditional building and site design review (CBSDR) for the first two buildings.  Ritchie hopes to break ground on the first phase by spring 2018.

The second phase will be considerably larger than the first.  The developers initially planned to build an office tower and several mid-rise mixed-use buildings.  The updated plans for the second phase now include a 25-story commercial office tower, an 18-20 story residential tower and a third shorter building that could possibly be another hotel.

“We have the ability to ebb and flow with the market,” said Ritchie.  “We are going to have the opportunity to make it very urban.”

Ritchie expects to start construction on the second phase in three to four years.  The developers will need a zoning map amendment to build the second phase as currently proposed.  The parcels are zoned D4 (Secondary Central Business District) which allows for heights up to 75 feet and up to 120 feet through a CBSDR.  The developers are requested the parcels be rezoned D1 (Central Business District) which allows for building heights up to 375 feet and taller through a CBSDR.  The zoning amendment will need approval from both the planning commission and the city council.

The developers see Block 67 as adding supportive infrastructure to the Vivint Smart Home Arena.  According to Ritchie, the buildings will feature large LED boards that will add signage and placemaking that compliments entertainment focus of the arena.

“It is exciting to watch Salt Lake grow into the city it deserves to be,” said Ritchie.

Conceptual rendering for both phases of the Block 67 development.
Rendering of the first phase of the Block 67 development looking east from 300 West.
Rendering of the first phase of the Block 67 development looking north from 200 South.
About Isaac Riddle 579 Articles
Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.