East Central property in transit zone hits market for $5.7M

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The owner of a cluster of properties in Salt Lake City’s East Central neighborhood is looking to sell the site of the shuttered Village Inn restaurant in what is likely to be a continuation of development along 400 South.

The property includes 0.75 acres of land at 910 E. 400 S., including the building home to the shuttered restaurant and adjacent vacant parcels. Cushman & Wakefield listed the property this week for $5.7 million on behalf of the longtime owner, a well-known philanthropist.

The Florence J. Gillmor Foundation has owned the land and leased it to the now-closed Village Inn for at least three decades and possibly longer, county records show.

The foundation, named for the matriarch in a family of long-time major landowners in the region, has been a major donor to education and justice issues.

Cushman is marketing the property as a candidate for multifamily or student housing, given it’s across the street from a transit station with light rail delivering passengers to the University of Utah up the hill.

“Cushman & Wakefield estimates that there are only 1,000 beds of inventory for purpose-built student housing in the University’s vicinity, signaling the absolute need for the market to supply this product type,” the brokers say in the listing. “910 East 400 South presents the compelling opportunity for developers to capture future rental growth from this supply-constrained market.”

Likewise, a buyer could build a separate multifamily apartment building. 

TSA-UN-T zoning currently allows developers to build up to 50 feet tall and a mix of uses, though the city is underway on work to rewrite several of its commercial and multifamily zones.

The price tag makes it likely that this property will sell to an investor who plans to develop it, and it means the corner at 900 East is likely to be transformed in the coming few years.

Last year, a developer released plans to develop the former Office Max across 900 East from the Village Inn. That project would include ground-floor retail, a rare activation of the street that would stand in contrast to several recently built buildings along 400 South.

The plans call for a six-story building with space for 264 residences and over 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail in multiple commercial spaces. The building received enough points under the city’s TSA zoning rules to move forward, though no building permit has been pulled.

The commercial real estate market remains largely stalled amid a high-rate environment and recent glut of new supply near Downtown. Projects that are getting sold and entitled may not be developed for years, after vacant units are leased and rates possibly fall.

Bookmark this stat for when that time comes: Cushman notes the average rent in multifamily buildings in the East Central neighborhood is $1,775 a month.

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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.