Developer proposes housing in downtown's hotel corridor

Preliminary rendering of the south face of the Garden Lofts as designed by BSB design. Image courtesy Salt Lake City public documents.

The developers of Providence Place and 600 Lofts want to add another work-force housing development to their downtown portfolio.  Developers, Wasatch Residential Group, plan to build the Garden Lofts, a 272 residential unit development on the 100 West block of 600 South.

The developers are requesting a $1 million loan from the city’s Housing Trust Fund.  On Tuesday city staff briefed the City Council on the project and loan conditions.

The Lofts would replace the two-story Royal Garden Inn on a 3.18-acre parcel.  The building will consist of five wood-framed floors that will be wrapped around a five-story mid-block parking structure.  The residential building will have three u-shaped wings at the north, south and east ends of the parking structure.  A strip of housing will separate the parking structure from public view at the structure’s west side. A private road will connect the parking structure to 600 South.

All of the 272 units will be reserved for residents earning at or below 60 percent AMI.  The units will be a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments.  The bulk of the units will be one and two bedroom apartments.  Rents will range between $725 for studio units to $1,065 for the three-bedroom units.

While the Garden Lofts replaces a motel, the project will be surrounded by temporary lodging including the adjacent Doubletree Hotel, Motel 6 and Comfort Inn.

According to public documents, the project’s amenities will include two open courtyards, a clubhouse and an exercise facility.   The development will also include energy-efficient appliances and windows.  The clubhouse and fitness center will occupy the first two floors of the south residential wing fronting 600 South with three additional floors of housing above it.

The project will be partially funded through Private Activity Bonds, the 4 percent Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (currently being considered for removal at the federal level) and the Utah Housing Corporation.  The developers are hoping to fill the remaining funding gap with a $1 million loan from the city’s Housing Trust Fund and from the Olene Walker Housing Trust Fund.

The council will potentially vote on the loan request during their November 28 formal council meeting.  Both the Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board and Mayor Jackie Biskupski recommended approval of the loan.  The developers hope to start construction spring 2018.

Preliminary rendering of the south face of the Garden Lofts as designed by BSB design. Image courtesy Salt Lake City public documents.
The site plan for the proposed Garden Lofts. Image courtesy Salt Lake City public documents.
Aerial map and site plan for the proposed Garden Lofts. Image courtesy Salt Lake City public documents.

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