Large mixed-use project coming to 400 South

Rendering of the Liberty Boulevard Apartments fronting 400 South.
Demolition is underway on the former Wonder Bread factory and distribution building. Image by Isaac Riddle.
Demolition is underway at the former Wonder Bread factory and distribution building. Image by Isaac Riddle.

*This is an updated version of a previous post

The Gilgal Sculpture Garden, a small park that features unique sculptures, is about to be less hidden. Demolition is underway at the former Wonder Bread site on the 700 East block of 400 South.  For decades the vacant 80,891-square-foot bakery and distribution building has helped shield the gardens from street-level view on 500 South.  The buildings are being demolished to make way for the Liberty Boulevard Apartments, mixed-use four-story development.

As with other projects featuring the Liberty moniker, Cowboy Partners is the developer.  The project will include 267 residential units and 4,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space.  The three plus acre project will be a block long, with street frontage on both 400 and 500 South and 700 East between X Wives Place and Ruby River Steakhouse.

The project will have commercial space fronting 400 South and will be built up to the street level on both 400 South and 700 East, matching the setbacks of businesses that are already there.  The development will have a larger setback on 500 South to match adjacent buildings.

Just under half of the residential units will be one-bedroom units.  The remaining half will 27 percent studio units and 23 percent two-bedroom units.  The project will be mixed-income, with 10 percent of the units designated as affordable housing, reserved for residents earning 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).  The remaining 90 percent of the units will be available at market rate.

Because the project will be a block long, the development will have varying building setbacks starting on the second floor and include six u-shaped courtyards to assuage the project’s visual impact.

The project will have ample parking, 340 spaces in a surface parking structure.  The parking ratio is 1:1 for the studio and one-bedroom apartments and 2:1 for the two-bedroom units.  The parking structure will have just over 30 spaces reserved for commercial tenants, leasing office and guests.

The project is within the Transit Service Area zoning (TSA).  Projects within a quarter-mile radius of a transit station are scored according to a checklist that awards points for various project elements that deemed important for urban projects with close to transit.  Developers need a TSA development score of at least 100 or they will face an administrative hearing or a review by the planning commission.

The Liberty Boulevard development received a TSA development score of 114.  The development earned points for its proposed on-site parking structure, its proximity to transit (it is less than 1,000 feet to two TRAX stations), bicycle storage, streetscape enhancements, public spaces visible from the street level, materials, common space on the roof, 360-degree architecture, sustainable landscaping and project density.

According to planning documents, amenities will include an art gallery with exhibits depicting the site’s history, lobby and reception area, resident lounge with free Wi-Fi, fitness center, swimming pool, sundeck, clubroom with a cyber cafe, courtyards and bicycle storage.

Architectural Nexus is the architectural firm that designed the Liberty Boulevard.   The firm also designed Liberty Crest, another Cowboy Partner’s project under construction in downtown Salt Lake on the 100 South block of 200 East.

The Liberty Boulevard Apartments is one of two Cowboy projects in the works in the Trolley Square area.  The developers went before the Historic Landmark Commission last October with plans to build the Liberty Square Apartments, directly north from Trolley Square on 500 South.  The HLC voted to delay making a decision so that the developers could return with more detailed plans.

The neighborhood is one the most amenity rich in the city.  Both developments will be close to transit and a block or less from Trolley Square and four grocery stores: Smiths Marketplace, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and Trader Joe’s.

Rendering of the Liberty Boulevard Apartments fronting 700 East.
Rendering of the Liberty Boulevard Apartments fronting 700 East.
Site plans for the Liberty Boulevard Apartments.
Site plans for the Liberty Boulevard Apartments.
The project site for the Liberty Boulevard is outlined in yellow.
The project site for the Liberty Boulevard is outlined in yellow.
About Isaac Riddle 612 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

  • Philip Gissen

    Are the reasons apartments developments are springing up all over downtown SLC rather than condominiums, profit margin and ability to get low interest loans? There is very little high end or luxury high rise living in downtown Salt Lake City. Almost all the new residential buildings are low to middle income housing. Empty nester baby boomers have few choices if they choose to live downtown. These new apartments all seem to cater to a younger demographic, setting a definitive tone for living in downtown Salt Lake. It will become rather transient, and this is something to be concerned about.

  • Tony Anderson

    It’s a trend happening nationwide. People seem more hesitant to buy condos and are instead flocking to apartments. I would love to see more condos myself as well.

  • Tony Anderson

    Love that there’s ground-level commercial/retail going in this project. Seems like a rare thing for most SLC projects.

  • Philip Gissen

    Condos are being built all over Denver, Chicago, Milwaukee etc. There must be some interest in condominium ownership downtown in those communities that just doesn’t exist in SLC.

  • Jason Howard Weeks

    Very few people in Salt Lake City live in the current market rate apartments. Why??? Because your average hard working citizen with a wife and children in Salt Lake City can’t afford them. “Rent is to high in Salt Lake City.” A complaint I hear from every 5 out of 10 residents in Salt Lake. What’s the use in constructing these places if nobody can afford to live in them??? There comesapoint when Human living conditions are Far more important than the almighty dollar. This isn’t New York City. Mayor Biskupski is more interested in making sure everyone has a decent place to live, then how much money landlords can put in their pockets. The amount of homes being constructed in Salt Lake are on the rise. People would rather own their own home at the same monthly cost, then keep paying high rent on something they’ll never own, landlords who notoriously do not keep their properties in good repair. Plus apartments do not build good equity for the hard working American family. They were designed for. People who will never be able to afford a home. Because I personally know at least 4 of the city council members, I think there’s a pretty good chance the entire city council would agree with me on this issue.

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