As COVID rages on, a proposed hotel and social club ask for more time to work things out

Two proposed projects that seek to bring people together Downtown and received early approval have been delayed for up to a year because it’s a tough time to cozy up.

The Union Pacific Hotel, a controversial design immediately west of the Union Pacific Railroad Station, is still working out financing during the COVID-19 pandemic and received up to another year to figure things out.

The Edison House, which aims to be a younger members-only social club aimed at working professionals, also received a yearlong extension to work out unspecified issues.

The delays are rare examples of the pandemic — which continues setting daily records for case counts across Utah — slowing down development in Salt Lake City. 

While insiders expected the virus to slow down what has been a decade long building boom in the capital city, residential, commercial and mixed-use projects continue breaking ground. There are signs that 2020 weathered tremendous uncertainty and continued the building trend.

The Union Pacific Hotel, by the owners of the Gateway mall, is just the latest in a series of moves to add life into the area. The Gateway has seen the addition of bars, restaurants, a food hall and more in recent years. The city showed it was willing to help land the boutique hotel by chipping in $7 million for the project, which at the time was estimated to cost $80 million to construct.

Located at 18 N. Rio Grande, the hotel would add 225 guest rooms plus 6,700 square feet of retail space to the Gateway.

Rendering shows the front of the Edison House, a proposed social club marketed toward young professionals in Salt Lake City, at 335 S. 200 W. Downtown.

The Planning Commission also gave another set of developers up to a year to figure out how to finish the Edison House. The developers submitted building plans for the social club, at 335 S. 200 W., but are working out what the commission described as “complex issues.”

Its conditional use permit will stay in effect until it can work out those issues. (The website describing the project and amenities in depth still tells prospective members to expect it in 2021.)

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Posted by Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson grew up near Chicago and made his way West to study journalism at the University of Montana. He's been a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune, Bend Bulletin and Salt Lake Tribune. A move from Portland, Oregon, to Salt Lake City opened his eyes to the importance of good urban design for building strong neighborhoods. He lives on the border of the Liberty Wells and Ballpark neighborhoods.