Commission approves Ballpark missing middle development

Rendering of The Edith as would be seen from 1700 South. Image courtesy Salt Lake City public documents.

A missing middle corridor is developing on 1700 South, west of State Street.  On Wednesday the Salt Lake City Planning Commission approved a Planned Development request by CW Urban for The Edith, a 23-unit townhome development proposed for the southwest corner of the 1700 South and West Temple intersection.

The parcels currently consist of the Majestic Meat building and an older single-family home.  The property is zoned RMU-45 (Residential Mixed Use) which allows for building heights up to 45 feet and 50 feet through a planned development request.  While the townhomes will be under 40 feet, the developers went through the planned development request because of planned reduced rear yard setbacks and that several of the townhomes won’t front a public street.

Aerial map of the proposed site of The Edith townhomes. Image courtesy Salt Lake City public documents.

While the commission was generally receptive to the proposal, several members were concerned about street engagement, setbacks and the demolition of the single-family home.

Jake Williams of CW Urban, reminded the commission that they could build a higher-density multifamily development on these parcels but have opted instead to build up the neighborhood by creating for-sale missing middle housing.  He also mentioned that the developers lost three units by redesigning the project to interact better with the prominent corner at the West Temple and 1700 South intersection.

Williams also told the commission that his team explored relocating the historic home but they couldn’t find a construction crew with experience moving large brick homes and that because the home isn’t designated as a historic or contributing structure there are limited tools available to relocate the home.

The homes will have a similar floor plan as other CW Urban projects underway, including The Ruby in the Central Ninth neighborhood, with a garage and flex-living space on the ground floor.

“I think this is an exemplary example of what we are trying to do with infill in Salt Lake,” said Paul Svendsen, a member of the Historic Landmarks Commission and owner of several adjacent properties on 1700 South.  Svendsen cited the project’s scale, street engagement and density as reasons he supports the project.  “We are located here close to downtown, we are within reasonable access to transit; I think should be encouraging density not discouraging it,” he said.

During the public hearing, several residents spoke against demolishing the historic home despite planning staff advising the commission that they can’t base a decision on the preservation of the historic home because the home is not officially designated as a historic home.

The Ruth is the second large missing middle project underway in the neighborhood.  Less than a block to the east is the site of the under-construction Flats on Richards, a four-story 32-unit residential building.  The project’s units will be for-sale condominiums with 16 units fronting 1700 South and the remaining units facing away from the street.

Rendering of the Flats on Richards as would be seen looking north at the intersection of Richard Street and 1700 South as designed by Blalock and Partners. Image courtesy Salt Lake City.

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