Another mixed-use building on its way to 200 East as developers knock on doorstep of Broadway retail

Builders broke ground this week on a new mixed-use building that will continue the residential buildout of east Downtown Salt Lake City.

The Moda Luxe will be among the taller buildings in the Downtown area east of State Street, with the developer, JF Capital, receiving permission to build slightly taller than the maximum 100 feet between 200 South and 300 South on 200 East.

The building is among the more than 2,000 residential units under construction in the Downtown area, according to tallies by Building Salt Lake, and has space for two restaurants. The 219 apartments will continue the rapid reshaping of 200 East that will continue in coming years until the street is vastly different from what it is today.

While injecting thousands of new people near the Downtown core, developers are now knocking on the doorstep of the retail shops that are attractive for people in the area. Moda Luxe is being erected next to Ken Sanders’ bookstore.

The project will occupy most of the mid-block parcels on the west side of 200 East, replacing surface parking and five, one- and two-story buildings on 0.97 acres. It equates to 227 new units per acre.

It will provide 207 parking spaces on three levels (two underground and one hidden in the building at ground level).

This section of 200 East is being rapidly transformed, with multiple recently constructed apartment buildings and more underway.

CW Urban, which is a sponsor of this website, is working on The Birdie, an apartment building on the corner of 200 South 200 East. The Birdie will add 61 luxury residential units above 2,300 square feet of ground floor commercial space.

Across the street, developers recently completed the Morton, an eight-story mixed-use residential building with 137 units. 

Most of the activity is bringing new retail with it, while existing businesses await to see where they fit in.

Ken Sanders has for years foretold the loss of his iconic bookstore on 200 East as builders continue adding housing to the block in east Downtown. Photo by Taylor Anderson.

Knocking on retail’s door

The development highlights the tension around adding new residents Downtown and preserving the businesses that help attract people into the capital city core.

Business owners in the building nearby at 215 East Broadway – which houses the Tavernacle and other local retail – have been told they’ll be out this summer due to unspecified redevelopment plans.

Ken Sanders started talking in 2014 about the likelihood that he’ll be forced to move out of his historic storefront, he said at the time, within three to five years due to impending development. Last year, he again foretold the imminent loss of his storefront, saying he’d be gone in 2021.

His building is next door to the Moda Luxe, and is owned by Ivory Homes. It was part of a redevelopment contest with the Ivory-Boyer Real Estate Center at the University of Utah, where students created economically viable redevelopments of Sanders’ building and another with more retail fronting Broadway.

The winning concept was Edison Tower, an 11-story, 160-unit residential building on a two-story concrete podium with 14 street access townhomes on one edge.

The proposal would also add two, four-story office buildings fronting Edison Street. One would include restaurant space on the ground floor, two stories of office space and a gym on the top floor for residential and office tenants. The other building would add a state liquor store below three stories of office space.

It’s not clear whether any eventual plan for the parcel will include the students’ plan. But change will keep coming to this area in town.

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