Historic downtown building to become new lofts

The Wesgate Business Center as seen from 200 South. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
The Westgate Business Center as seen from 200 South. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

Buildings, like people, can be reinvented.  The Enos Wall Mansion on South Temple has been a mansion, Jewish community center, LDS Business College and is now slated to house the University of Utah’s Utah Policy Institute.

Like the Wall Mansion, the Westgate Business Center, at the 300 West block of 200 South, has served multiple purposes.  The building was originally a warehouse built in 1921 for the Capital Electric Company.  It served as a warehouse until 1984 when it was converted into offices.  The building will soon be reinvented again, this time as the Paragon Station Lofts, a 38 residential unit development.

Clearwater Homes is developing the project and like the Broadway Lofts, another Clearwater project, the units will be market rate, owner-occupied units.

“Our vision for it (Westgate Business Center) was always a residential adaptive reuse,” said Micah Peters, the CEO of Clearwater Homes.  “We think this area is exceptional in terms of its access to public transit, to all the amenities downtown: the theater, restaurants and the Energy Solutions Arena.

The project will add a floor to the current building, making it five-stories on the east side and four floors on the west side.  The ten top-floor units will be two-story, penthouse units with private rooftop decks.  There will be 12 different unit types ranging from 750 square feet to 2,600 square feet.

Amenities will include a common rooftop deck with an outdoor fireplace, bathrooms and a kitchenette.  The units will have large windows and eight-foot tall multi-slide doors that will open to the outside decks.  There will be 43 stalls in a subterranean parking structure and 22 spaces in an adjacent surface parking lot.  Eight ground floor units on the building’s east side will have a front lawn adjacent to the surface parking.

The development has ample access to public transit, it is a block from the Planetarium TRAX station, two blocks from the Arena station and the high-frequency, 2 bus route runs directly in front of the project.

Paragon Station Lofts will be LEED Gold Certified.  Most of the building’s 700 plus doors will be sanded and re-skinned to be reused in the residential units.

The quick sale of the Broadway Park Loft’s units proved that there is a demand for market rate, owner-occupied units in the western edge of downtown.  Peters is confident that units in Paragon Station will sell quickly.

“Our interest list on this is actually already over-subscribed,” said Peters.

According to Peters, twice as many people as there are units have expressed interest in purchasing a loft with many ready to put down a deposit before construction has even commenced.

There has been a lot of activity in the immediate area surrounding the Paragon Station Lofts.  On the  same block as the lofts, are two hotels: the recently completed Hyatt House and the under-construction, Courtyard by Marriott.   Across the street from Paragon Station is the recently relocated, Finca restaurant and La Barba cafe.

Construction will start in April and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016.  A second phase will include the construction of a one-story, active use structure on the eastern edge of the surface parking lot to engage the street level along 300 West and the northwest corner of 200 South.  The second phase building is still in the design and planning phase but will most likely include a restaurant or retail space.

The current view of the east wing of the third floor. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
The current view of the east wing of the third floor in the Westgate Business Center. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
A hallway on the third floor of the future Paragon Station Lofts. The interior brick walls will be preserved. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
A hallway on the third floor of the future Paragon Station Lofts. The interior brick walls will be preserved. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Rendering of the east side of Paragon Station Lofts.
Rendering of the east side of Paragon Station Lofts.
Rendering of the southeast corner of Paragon Station Lofts.
Rendering of the southeast corner of Paragon Station Lofts.
Rendering of the northeast corner of the Paragon Station Lofts.
Rendering of the northeast corner of the Paragon Station Lofts.
Rendering of the south side of Paragon Station Lofts fronting 200 South.
Rendering of the south side of Paragon Station Lofts fronting 200 South.

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