Developers prepare for Planning Commission with revised westside project

Rendering of the southeast corner of the West Station/RR Development Phase III as would be seen from Redwood Road. JZW Architects designed the project. Image courtesy Salt Lake City planning documents.

After failing to earn enough points on their Transit Station Area Development Review, developers Henderson Development are moving forward with a Planned Development request to build the revised third phase of the West Station Apartments, a proposed 299-unit residential development at the 100 North block of Redwood Road.

The developers originally proposed building two five-story, mixed-use buildings that would have had a combined 247 units.   Both buildings in the previous proposal would have wrapped around surface parking on Gertie Avenue and Redwood Road but would have no engagement with Harold Avenue with surface parking fronting the small through-street.

Because the project is in the TSA-MUEC-T (Transit Station Area Mixed Use Employment Center Transition) zone, the developers were required to go through the Transit Station Area review process.  Under the review guidelines, developers wanting to build within a quarter-mile of a TRAX station must earn at least 125 points before receiving planning approval.  Projects that fail to score at least 100 points must go before the Planning Commission for final approvals.  Points are rewarded to project elements that encourage walkability, vibrancy and other pedestrian and transit-friendly design elements.

According to planning documents, the third phase failed to reach the needed 100 points because of how the project engaged with Harold Avenue to the west, which is considered a public street and lacks open space.  The developers will be seeking an exception from the Planning Commission for the zoning requirement that mandates that at least 50 percent of a residential structure be within 5 feet of a public street.

The revised plans still include two five-story buildings but the developers have added an additional 50 units.  The units will be a mix of micro, one, two and three-bedroom apartments.  The developers also appear to have removed any proposed commercial uses from the ground floor, instead opting for a lobby, fitness center and 15 one-bedroom walk-up units to occupy the street level.   Developers still plan on having surface parking separate the third phase buildings from Harold Avenue and the project’s first phase building.

The project will replace a vacant lot at the northwest corner of the Gertie Avenue (150 North) and Redwood Road intersection.  The developers purchased the lot from the city.  Before sitting vacant, the lot was home to a Betos Mexican restaurant.

The first two phases of the West Station Apartments are already one of the largest multifamily residential developments in the growing residential node on the 1700 to 1900 West blocks of North Temple.  The four-story, 145-unit first phase opened late 2015.  The project’s second phase, a four-story 148-unit building, opened earlier this year and is directly north of the site of the proposed third phase.

Ground floor plan for the West Station/RR Development Phase III. Image courtesy Salt Lake City planning documents.
Second-level plan for the West Station/RR Development Phase III. 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