Builders win approval to build next big apartment building in the Hardware District

A 4-acre surface parking lot just steps from light- and heavy-rail transit is set to be transformed into a unique set of living spaces with the next arrival of a high-density residential development in Salt Lake City’s Hardware District.

The latest offering, known as the Ice House, would include 393 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments plus 41 townhome units on 4.88 acres between 300 and 400 North. (Project numbers have shifted over the more than three years since this was first proposed.)

Ice House, built by the Austin, Texas-based Endeavor Real Estate Group, appears to match the substance of its neighbors in what the developers dubbed the Hardware District.

“Our approach is, at a minimum, consistent in scope with neighboring developments that have also been granted approval to vary from the maximum length restriction, including 4th West, Hardware and Salt Lake Crossing,” the developers wrote in their design review application.

The Ice House apartments would include a seven-story podium wrap building with two townhome pads. It would be exclusively residential and include seven tiered levels of parking.

The buildings’ design is in some ways unique for the area and in other ways similar to the bulk of the new development will look like much of the construction in other TSA zones, notably with copious parking in a core transit zone on the edge of Downtown.

The Ice House apartments would be built with five wood floors over two floors of concrete. 

Ice House will also continue the single-use aesthetic that has developed in the area known as the immediate area, where big-footprint buildings provide copious amenities for those who pay the high-dollar rent to live there.

Endeavor Ice House won’t have any retail, restaurant or other space that might be used by the broader public. It will instead have a rooftop pool, outdoor kitchens, wet deck and fountain, an “amenity garden” with fire pits, outdoor kitchens, and ground-floor leasing office and bicycle facilities.

Ice House by the numbers

  • Apartment Building
    • Studio: 61 units
    • One-bedroom: 255 units
    • Two-bedroom: 78 units
    • Total podium units: 394
  • Townhomes
    • Two-bedroom: 27 units
    • Three-bedroom: 14 units
    • Total new townhomes: 41

The development will have seven tiered levels of parking holding more than 438 parking spaces, or 1.2 stalls per housing unit.

The city’s TSA zoning encourages developers to provide less than one off-street parking spot per housing unit, while at the same time its existing parking ordinance would have allowed the developers to include 830 off-street parking spaces under a provision known as transportation demand management strategy. 

(The City Council has been weighing updates to the outdated parking ordinance for years, and things may come to a head this summer.)

The developers say they’ve gone farther than nearby Hardware properties in designing an appealing and pedestrian-friendly development. They note they’ll build 28 new townhomes on the site and use design elements to help reduce the length of the podium.

“The west podium façade facing 490W incorporates deep building setbacks to create the appearance of 3 separate buildings, carefully integrating landscape to mitigate the overall building length,” the developers wrote.

Street facades in this TSA zone should not exceed 200 feet. Ice House would include a 377-foot and 234-foot frontage.

Developers throughout the city have skirted maximum frontage length requirements by visually — though not physically — splitting big footprints into zones that can help reduce the intimidating massing created by extremely long frontages.

The developers also note they’ll connect 490 West from 300 North to 400 North, creating a new public street in the area.

The Planning Commission approved the project at its first meeting this month. The project scored high enough in the TSA design review scoresheet that it doesn’t need another public hearing. Developers have been approved to pull building permits.

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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.