Commission approves two downtown mid-rise towers

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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 east from 300 West.

The 100 South block of 300 West is poised for significant redevelopment.  On Wednesday, the Salt Lake City Planning Commission approved a Conditional Building and Site Design Review (CBSDR) and conditional use for the first phase of the proposed Block 67 development.

Conceptual rendering of both phases of the Block 67 development.

The Ritchie Group wants to build multiple buildings on 6.45 acres at the northwest and southeast corners of the block, replacing the Royal Wood Plaza building, a parking structure and a surface parking lot.  The developers will break up the large project into four smaller blocks via a curved throughway street that will connect 300 West to 200 South.

The project would be built in two phases.  The approved first phase will focus on the redevelopment of Blocks A and B at the block’s northwest corner and will include two mixed-used buildings that consist of a mixed-use residential building and a double-branded hotel building.  Both buildings will be 11-stories tall.

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 ground floor commercial space and subterranean parking.

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

Map of the four proposed blocks in the Block 67 development. Image courtesy Salt Lake public documents.

The proposed street will be designed to accommodate both cars and pedestrians with traffic calming elements and formal and informal plaza space while also allowing for loading vehicles and through traffic.  The street will be programmable like the Regent Street and will utilize a similar design that will allow the street to be easily converted into plaza space for events.

“It really wants to feel like a car is in the plaza and rather than we are trying to make a plaza out of the street,” said Abraham.

The developers would like to build much taller for the second phase, up to around 30 stories which would require a rezone from D4 (Secondary Central Business District) to D1 (Central Business District). 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.  Under the D1 zone, the developers could build up to 375 feet outright or taller through a CBSDR.

Zoning map of Block 67 and adjacent blocks. Image courtesy Salt Lake City Planning Documents.

On Wednesday the Planning Commission decided to table the zoning request to a future meeting.

Because the developers don’t plan on surpassing the 375 foot-threshold, they are also considering a request to expand the zoning overlay district, approved by the City Council in 2016, for the Salt Palace Convention Center parcels instead of complete rezone.

The zoning overlay district was created to allow for the Convention Center Hotel to be built above the Salt Palace Convention Center.  The City Council set a height limit of 375 feet for any development above the convention center.

According to Ryan Ritchie, of The Ritchie Group, the second phase would include at least two towers at 20-stories or taller and would add 400,000 to 500,000 square feet of office space and an additional 500 to 600 residential units.  Additionally, Ritchie told the commission that the second phase could also include a grocery store, citing a lack of grocery stores in the neighborhood.

The developers will need to return to the Salt Lake City Planning Commission for a formal hearing for a CBSDR, zoning amendment and a planned development request.  The developers hope to break ground on the first phase by spring 2018.

*This is an updated version of a previous post.

Rendering of the first phase of the Block 67 development looking north from 200 South.
Rendering of the first phase hotel in the Block 67 development looking east from 300 West.
Site plan for Block 67.
About Isaac Riddle 630 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.