Commission approves updated East Central residential development

Rendering of the enhanced main entryway in the proposed 900 East Multifamily Project. Image courtesy Salt Lake City planning documents.

After several redesigns and visits to the Historic Landmark Commission (HLC), a proposed residential project at 35 South 900 East is moving forward after the members of the HLC unanimously approved with conditions a new construction request and a five-foot reduction in the required front yard setback during their Thursday, January 5th commission meeting.

The developers, Baron Equities, propose to build a three-story residential development with 39 residential units and 54 surface parking stalls behind the building.  The units will be a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments and amenities will include a pool and clubhouse directly east of the parking area.

“I am very pleased with this project.  This is a project that has come a long way,” said one commission member.

This is the third time that the representatives of the developers have gone before the HLC, and fourth time in front of a city commission.   In January 2016, the HLC voted to designate the existing structure, a former medical clinic, as a noncontributing structure in the South Temple Local Historic District.  The designation will allow the developers to receive a demo permit.

Site plan of the proposed 900 East Multifamily Project. Image courtesy Salt Lake City planning documents.

In June the Salt Lake City Planning Commission voted to favor a negative recommendation to Salt Lake City Council for a zoning amendment.  The developers proposed building a five-story apartment building with 104 residential units.  To accommodate their proposal, the developers requested a zoning change from the parcel’s current RMF-35 and RMF-30 (residential multifamily) zoning to RMF-75.  The change would have allowed the developers to build up to 75 feet, or seven stories, instead of the 35-foot limit under current zoning.

The developers returned to the HLC in November 2016 for a work session and presented a scaled-down design that met current zoning requirements.  Based on feedback from the work session developers have updated the project’s design to feature a more prominent entryway and changes to the building’s massing and scale.

“We were a little skeptical about going through the work session process,” said Dustin Holt, the representative for the developers.  “But I would be the first to tell any other applicants that it’s been a great process.  Betterments that have put into this design do make the design better.”

According to the developers, the reduced setback request is to allow for the enhanced main entry.  In planning documents, the developers argued that the proposed building is designed to resemble townhomes by varying the materials and architectural details to visually break up the building into three sections. Each of the ground floor units fronting 900 East will have a patio area and recessed porch entry with a pedestrian walkway that connects each ground floor unit to the public sidewalk. The second and third floors will have a recessed balcony.

Just four residents spoke during Thursday’s public hearing compared to the June planning commission meeting when dozens of residents spoke against the rezone during the planning commission meeting.

“I’ve had nine proposals near my properties for rezones or extensive reuses.  This is the only project that I have a good feeling about,” said resident and local property owner, Cindy Cromer.

The original and updated rendering of the 900 East Multifamily Project. The bottom rendering was the approved design. Image courtesy Salt Lake City planning 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