For-sale townhomes proposed in Sugar House near the S-Line

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As the need for for-sale housing grows in Salt Lake, more builders are bringing forward small-scale townhome developments to help increase housing in more places around the city. NorthStar is looking to do so with a new proposal located in the heart of Sugar House. 

South of the Deseret Industries, the proposal, called “The Noah,” would take a vacant lot and an underutilized nine-stall parking lot located at 2162 S. Lake St. to build a one-building, four-unit townhome complex. 

The application will require Planning Commission approval as the units are located in an RMF-35 zone that has not been updated with the same standards as the newer RMF-30 zone. This means they require permission for setbacks and home entrances with no direct street frontage. 

This project requires both a planned development and preliminary subdivision application and approval.

The Noah would all have private back patios and share a parking lot located at the front to maximize space and access for the units. The outer units would be 3-bed 2.5-bath with around 1,900 sqft. The inner units would be 4-bed 3.5-bath with about 2,315 sqft. 

All units are planned to be three stories tall to match other nearby multifamily and townhome developments to the south along the S-line and would have top-floor master suites with covered balconies at the front. 

NorthStar said in its application it want to “encourage increased home ownership in a mostly built-up urban area … and include a housing type (New construction Townhomes) not found in the existing neighborhood.” 

The surrounding area contains many two- to three-story buildings, with commercial uses fronting 2100 S. and 700 E. Many of the projects around Lake Street are rentals, and only one other townhome project similar to this exists close by. 

Images of nearby housing types.

The Sugar House Townhomes to the south, along the S-Line, have a very similar look and intensity to this proposed project, with four single family attached units. The project would add gentle density to the area, without matching the densities found in the Sugar House urban core closer to Highland Drive and 2100 South. 

An HOA would be established for the single-family attached-dwellings at The Noah to help with exterior maintenance, utility easements and the shared parking lot located in front of the units.

There would be two parking stalls per unit, and the application states that the Desert Industries lot directly behind the units could be used as backup parking. 

This proposal would add much to the city regarding for-sale housing, especially in an area full of rentals and very few open lots. While the project has limitations with utility easements and location, it creates a unique opportunity for the city to reevaluate its RMF-35 and RMF-45 zones to match the standard found in the RMF-30 zone changes.

There is currently no plan for either of these zones to receive any updates, meaning each project like this still needs to go through the planned development process. 

As the city continues to delay action on its Affordable Housing Initiatives to the end of the year for now,  projects like this will continue to add to the housing stock whether adaptive reuse changes, density bonuses are added, zoning changes happen, or lot size restrictions change. Developers are proposing new housing within existing restrictions, so imagine what could happen when proposed changes go into effect.

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Email Zeke Peters

Posted by Zeke Peters

Zeke Peters is a dual-masters student at the University of Utah studying Urban Planning and Public Administration. He works as a planner and designer in Salt Lake City. He currently resides in downtown Salt Lake and is from Austin, Minnesota, the birthplace of SPAM.