Affordable housing to replace the Royal Garden Inn

Crews have started demolition work on the Royal Garden Inn. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

The site of an aging motel will soon be the home of downtown Salt Lake’s next affordable housing development.  Demolition work has started on the Royal Garden Inn at the 100 West block of 600 South to make way for construction of the Garden Lofts Apartments, a proposed 272 unit affordable housing development.

Garden Lofts will be third downtown adjacent, work-force housing project by Wasatch Residential Group.  The developers also built the Providence Place at the 300 East block of 100 South and the 600 Lofts at the southwest corner of the 600 South and State Street intersection.

All of the project’s 272 units will be reserved for residents earning 60 percent AMI (Area Median Income).  The units will be a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, the bulk of which will be one and two bedroom apartments.  Rents will range between $725 for studio units to $1,065 for the three-bedroom units.

The Lofts will replace the two-story Royal Garden Inn on a 3.18-acre parcel that is completely surrounded by mid-rise hotels.   The project will front 600 South with a portion fronting 200 West.

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.

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.  In November 2017, the Salt Lake City approved the developer’s $1 million loan request from the city’s Housing Trust Fund.

A 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.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

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 isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.