Historic Landmark Commission wants more details from developer

Rendering of Liberty Square seen from 500 South and Green Street.  Image courtesy of City planning documents.
Rendering of Liberty Square seen from 500 South and Green Street. Image courtesy of City planning documents.

A proposed residential project in the Central City Local Historic District will get another chance to impress the Historic Landmark Commission.  During Thursday’s commission meeting, commission members asked the developers for more detailed architectural plans before approving demolition and alteration requests for a several buildings on the 600 East block of 500 South.

Cowboy Partners wants to incorporated the former Ensign Floral Building into its proposed Liberty Square Apartments development at the northeast corner of the 600 E 500 South intersection.  The project would wrap around the Smith’s Marketplace gas station and include alterations to the Floral building and the demolition seven smaller adjacent buildings.

The developers will most likely return to the commission next month with the updated architectural plans.   Several commission members were concerned by the size and scope of the project in comparison to the surrounding area and wanted to ensure that the project fits into the neighborhood.

The Liberty Square Apartments will be four-stories with 133 residential units.  The project will include an internal courtyard, parking structure

According to developers, the main entrance will be at the corner of 500 South and Green Street, a mid-block street between 400 and 500 South.  The bulk of the building will front 500 South with a parking structure that will be adjacent to the Trader Joe’s loading dock and accessed off Green Street.

The former Ensign Floral Building will be preserved and converted to five residential-unit building.  The building was built in 1959 and is an example of the modern architectural style.

The developers want to replace the building’s former steel canopy, replace the front steel door with a french door, replace the windows on the north façade, remove the south-side windows, remove the east-side addition built in 1960 and replace the original signage.

According to the current architectural plans, the project will have minimal setback from Green Street and the sidewalk on 500 South.  The project should help Green Street become a more active mid-block connection for the neighborhood and improve pedestrian access to the Trolley TRAX station at the north end of the block.

The Liberty Square project is one of several Salt Lake developments proposed or under construction by Cowboy Partners.  Construction is underway on the Liberty Crest apartments at the 100 South block of 200 East.  Just a block east of the Liberty Square site, construction is expected to start soon on Liberty Boulevard, a mixed-use development near 400 South and 700 East.   Architectural Nexus is the architectural firm behind all three projects.

The next Historic Landmarks Commission meeting is scheduled for November 5 at 5:30 p.m.

Rendering of Liberty Square as seen from the 600 E 500 South intersection.  Image courtesy of City planning documents.
Rendering of Liberty Square as seen from the 600 E 500 South intersection. Image courtesy of City planning documents.
Site plan for Liberty Square. Image courtesy of City planning documents.
Site plan for Liberty Square. Image courtesy of City planning documents.
The site of the proposed Liberty Square Apartments as seen from 500 South.  The buildings pictures will be demolished to make way for the project.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
The site of the proposed Liberty Square Apartments as seen from 500 South. The buildings pictures will be demolished to make way for the project. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

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 isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.