Developers revise design for new building in Ballpark, adding retail and street engagement

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The developers who proposed a new mid-rise building near the current home of the Salt Lake Bees have revised their proposal, acknowledging the original design didn’t live up to goals for the Ballpark neighborhood.

As originally proposed, the building effectively turned its back on the surrounding streets through a lack of ground-floor engagement and blank walls created by multiple levels of off-street parking.

The original proposal likely didn’t meet the city’s standards for projects that are subject to Design Review by city planners and would likely have been denied or altered.

After hearing from the city, the developers revised the proposal to include street-facing retail space and tenant amenities that put eyes on the street.

“The team at Abstract Development Group appreciated the critique we read in Building Salt Lake, as well as heard from City Planning,” the developers said in a statement. “We subsequently worked over the last few weeks to address these points.”

Use the slider to compare the original design (left) and the new proposal (right) for a development at 1365 S. Jefferson in Salt Lake City’s Ballpark neighborhood.Renderings by Arch Nexus.

Abstract is leading out at a time when other developers are waiting to assess the impact of the Miller family relocating the AAA baseball team to the southwest suburbs, leaving a vacant, city-owned stadium behind.

Each new proposal will set the tone for the next generation of this part of the neighborhood.

With its revised proposal, the building would include about 2,500-square-feet of retail for up to three tenants. The retail would be designed to serve the tenants in the building as well as the neighborhood, the developers told us.

“Our objective is to create appropriate, visually appealing design that embraces and complements the changing neighborhood,” the developers said. “We love walkable cities and public transit for a host of reasons.”

“We plan to promote the use of Trax for their transportation needs, thus we feel it is important that our residents feel safe and comfortable walking to and from the station,” they said.

The unit mix is unchanged from the original proposal, with 115 residences in a seven-story, 88-foot building.

Unit Breakdown

  • Studios: 37
  • One-bedroom: 59
  • Two-bedroom: 19
  • Total Units: 115

It’s not immediately clear how much parking is provided, though the application notes that there will be on- and off-street bike parking, and “most units contain an Urban Mud Room with a bike storage area.”

The renderings show the incorporation of vines onto the exterior of the building, which is also clad with thin brick, cement, cementitious plaster and metal paneling. It’s not immediately clear if the front also has vertical wood slats that are apparent in the renderings.

But it appears the development is more in line with the new master plan for this part of the neighborhood, which envisions taller buildings, mixed uses and more residential density near the stadium and Trax line on 1300 South.

The city also has an active contest called Ballpark NEXT, with awards for winning submissions from members of the public, student planners and professional planners. The deadline for submissions is March 17.

Development Details

  • Developer: Abstract Development Group
  • Architect: Arch Nexus
  • Landscape Architect: Arch Nexus
  • Structural Engineer: BHB Structural
  • Civil Engineer: Psomas 

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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.