Commission approves project west of the Gateway

Rendering of the south face of the West Gateway Commons. Image courtesy Architecture Belgique.

Downtown’s westward expansion continues with another multifamily residential project proposed for the area directly west of the Gateway.  The project, West Gateway Commons, is moving forward after the Salt Lake City Planning Commission approved the developer’s planned development request during last Wednesday’s commission meeting.

West Gateway Commons will be a five-story development with 100 market-rate units on just north of the 100 South and 600 West intersection.  The units be a mix of studio, one bedroom and two bedroom units.  Rents for the studio units will start at $1,025 a month, one-bedroom units will start at $1,150 while rents for two-bedroom units will start at $1,450.

During the public hearing portion of the commission meeting, only two residents spoke.  Both residents were adjacent property owners and were in favor or neutral on the project. One resident representing the Complex concert venue, southeast of the development on 100 South, expressed excitement for more development in the neighborhood but wondered what impact the project would have on the maximum decibel requirements with a residential building so close to a concert venue.

MW Development Enterprises out of Kansas City, Mo. is the developer of West Gateway. Local architecture firm, Architecture Belgique, designed the project.

The project replaces several warehouses on 0.9 acres.  The project includes four floors of residential above a ground floor parking structure.  Becuase the project is within two blocks from three TRAX stations, the developers have elected to have a 0.8:1 parking ratio with 80 parking stalls for the 100 units.  The leasing office, office space for a tenant and residential lobby will separate the parking from the street level on 600 West.

Ground level floor plan for the West Gateway Commons. Image courtesy Salt Lake City planning documents.

According to the developers, the project will take up almost the entirety of the lot.  A portion of the area to the north will be a landscaped dog park.  Under the area’s zone, GMU (General mixed use) the city will require the developers to add curbs, gutters, sidewalks and plant trees at the median on 600 West.

As with the North Sixth project, a block to the north proposed development.  West Gateway Commons will include a public art mural on the building’s southeast and southwest corners.  The project will also feature the “U” shape architectural style currently heavily utilized by developers in the city with residential units opening to a courtyard above a parking podium. But instead of having the “U” front the street, the developers will have the courtyard face south towards 100 South and the Complex.

While the commission’s vote was unanimous, some commission members expressed a reluctance to approve this type of development in the Depot District.

“I think we are not encouraging the right development for the area,” said commission member, Weston Clark.  “We have to encourage retail spaces in the area… with future density in mind. This is a fine looking building but this doesn’t feel urban to me.

Clark and several other commission members suggested that the city needs to reexamine the GMU zone for the neighborhood as it doesn’t require any ground floor retail or commercial space and doesn’t help establish a neighborhood identity.

Commission member Ivis Garcia suggested that the project’s public art component could be one way to help the neighborhood establish an identity.

West Gateway Commons in one of the several residential projects in development within a block of the Gateway.  Half a block to the south is the under-construction Alta Gateway Station, a four-story 277-unit development on the 500 West block of 100 South.  A block north of the Gateway construction is underway on the Hardware Village development that consists of three buildings with over 900 residential units.

The developers expect to start construction in the spring and complete construction by April 2018.

Rendering of the south facing courtyard of the West Gateway Commons. Image courtesy Architecture Belgique.
Site plan for the West Gateway Commons. Image courtesy Architecture Belgique.

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