The mother of all downtown residential projects has just broken ground in downtown Salt Lake City. “POST HOUSE” will take up a full city block (10 acres-the size of Liberty Park) with five buildings and 580 residential units (461,921 sq. ft of housing) and 26,833 sq. ft of retail. MVE+ Architects say that ‘this project will be a catalyst for fostering the development of a sustainable urban neighborhood’ with the five buildings to be a completed block of old and new in a pedestrian-oriented development. Think of driving yourself from downtown and getting on I-15 on 500 South. At 300-400 West there was an old and vacant newspaper (Newspaper Agency Corp) building that many folks of recent, have used for skateboarding and clandestine videos. The Post District of Salt Lake got its name from the NAC building that sits on the site. To the south is the newly re-discovered Granery District and to the north is the Salt Lake Mission and what used to be a fruit and vegetable warehouse. The Mission is still there but the warehouse is being repurposed by the group. It suffered some minor earthquake damage just after COVID hit but is full steam underway to take off the layers of paint and age of time and will also be a part of the whole project.The developers dream is to have massive housing units, from studio apartments the size of small hotel rooms to 2000 sq. ft lofts combined with massive amenities like indoor and outdoor pools, rooftop decks and BBQ’s, a fitness center and areas for pedestrians and dogs to meander through the greenspaces surrounding the buildings. As I see it, imagine Liberty Park with five medium-sized residential buildings plopped around the grass and trees. Certainly, it would be a nicer area to live in rather than the five story boxes squeezed all over downtown, sans green spaces. I’m really interested in seeing how this all builds out because as a fan of history I love that the developers are wanting to keep many of the old buildings on the two sites and work them in as a major compliment to the new construction. Technically the project is located within an ‘Opportunity Zone’, which is a designation that Utah gives blighted and distressed areas within our borders. Having lived two blocks away from this area for many years I’d agree it’s needed some love and attention. Builders and investors will get incentives and tax breaks as , developers did in the Granery District. Drive south on 300 West past 500 South and you’ll see the deep trenches going in now for the foundations. Reports are that this will end up costing almost $150 million to erect but given the area and the desperate need for a variety of housing supply methinks this will rent out fast. The idea of the developers is to have a mix of rental priced housing, from the fancy penthouses to the starter studios.
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