Westside residents and their local city and state representatives have long decried the disproportionate amount of low-income and transitional housing in their communities. Research shows that affordable housing best serves residents when that housing is located in neighborhoods of opportunity (neighborhoods with high opportunities for education and career advancement) and not clustered in underserved communities.
A mixed-income neighborhood is emerging in the area surrounding the 1940 West North Temple TRAX station. Developers plan to build the North Temple Flats, a mixed-income development on the 1900 West block of North Temple that will replace the Sleep Cheap Motel and a small mobile home community. The project will have 168 units with 96 income-restricted units with 72 market-rate units. The units will be a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments.
According to the project’s architect, Guillaume Belgique of Architecture Belgique, amenities will include a clubroom, fitness room, pool, playground, dog park, computer room and wellness room. Becuase the project is adjacent to a TRAX station, the North Temple Flats will have 0.93 parking stalls per residential unit with 157 surface parking stalls, seven of which will be electric car charging stations.
As the city reevaluates the points system for the Transit Station Area zoning district, residents and community council leaders from several westside communities have asked the city to reconsider adding incentives for affordable housing for developments along North Temple. Under the TSA zoning district, projects within a quarter mile of a TRAX station must receive a development review score of 100 to bypass approval from the planning commission. Projects are awarded points for development features that enhance walkability and are transit orientated. City council wants to increase the points awarded for affordable housing while reducing points for features like structured parking.
While the majority of the units in the North Temple Flats will be income-restricted, the project is one of three multifamily developments underway within a block of the 1940 West North Temple TRAX station. Construction has started on the second phase of the West Station Apartments near the Redwood Road and North Temple intersection and construction will soon start on the Orange Place Apartments at the intersection of North Temple and Orange Street. The three projects will add a combined 579 units, 92 or which will be affordable or 16.5 percent of the total units. Many mixed-income developments tend to be between 10 to 20 percent affordable units.
In Salt Lake City, the City Council led by councilmember Erin Mendenhall, are working to add more affordable housing to more prosperous neighborhoods in the city’s eastside. As the city and developers discuss ways to encourage new development while ensuring that residents aren’t priced out of the city, one approach that seems to appeal to both the public and private sector is the mixed-income housing approach.
Several residential projects in Sugar House, the Depot District and the growing urban node surrounding the North Temple/600 West corridor, feature a mix of affordable and market-rate housing.
Construction should start soon on the North Temple Flats. The developers have their building permit and are waiting for approval of a demolition permit before construction can begin.