First permit application of 2024: Small office building in 9th and 9th to add extra story for apartments

The first planning permit application of 2024 was filed this week.

Normally, we wouldn’t cover such small project. But it’s the first out of the gates. And it may also be indicative of the type of year in development we’re going to have.

With developers’ capital stacks lacking stability like a Jenga pile, and rent growth stalling in the Salt Lake metro, no one is expecting many large projects to start their journey at city hall this year.

What we may see is a lot more smaller projects, given the city’s liberalization of some of its zoning categories like RMF-30.

Jedi Living, based in Las Vegas, is proposing to gut, rehab, and re-clad a two-story 1963 office building on .10 acres at 868 S. McClelland in the heart of the 9th and 9th (east) neighborhood.

It is directly behind the Koo de Ker women’s clothing boutique.

The building’s existing two offices contain 2376 sf. On the same footprint, the rehab will create a first-floor medical facility with exam rooms and offices, while second-story floor plans show offices and a studio space. A third-floor addition would add 1028 sf between two one-bedroom apartments.

Images courtesy Creates Cool

The apartments will have three sides of light exposure and enjoy a three-story walkup, a central staircase shared with the offices below.

The applicant needs a variance for the front setback since they’re adding square footage to the building, architect Elias Horat of Creates Cool, project designers, told us. The property is zoned RO Residential Office and abuts R-2 zoning to the north.

Since buildings can go to 60 feet in RO, it is interesting that the owners plan to keep the 1963 structure instead of building a multi-family residential building. But this modest adaptive reuse and addition may be a sign of more small-scale projects coming in the near future.

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Posted by Luke Garrott

Luke Garrott, PhD, has published in The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, and written features for the Salt Lake City Weekly City Guide and The West View. A former two-term councilman in Salt Lake City's District 4, he lives in Downtown Salt Lake City and grew up in the Chicago area.