HLC approves relocation of two historic Central City homes

The 665 E. Ely Place. Image courtesy Salt Lake City planning documents.

Two out of three ain’t bad.  That refrain was repeated several times during Thursday’s Historic Landmark Commission meeting as commission members unanimously approved the relocation of two contributing historic homes at 658 E. 600 South and 665 E. Ely Place in the Central City Historic District.

Trolley Square mall owner, Khosrow Semnani and his development team, Trolley Square Ventures plan to build a mixed-used development on the 3.5-acre site directly south of the mall.  While most of the site is vacant land, there are four homes in the proposed project area, three of which are considered contributing structures to the historic district.

In April, the Historic Landmark Commission approved the developer’s request to demolish two homes at 664 E. 600 South and 652 E. 600 South but denied the request to demolish the 658 East and 665 East homes.

“The importance of this structure can’t be overestimated,” said neighborhood activist Cindy Cromer of the 665 East Ely Place property. “This is a very unique structure.  I’m thrilled it will remain in the district.”

Now that they have approvals, the developers will relocate the homes at 658 E. 600 South and 665 Ely Place to 630 E. Sego Avenue and 582 S. 600 East respectively.

The 658 East home was constructed around 1904 and would be relocated to the and interior parcel directly south of the proposed Trolley Square development.  The developers plan to hydraulically lift the home out of its original foundation and carried 150 yards south to the Sego Avenue location.

Site plan for the proposed Trolley Square development. Image courtesy Salt Lake City planning documents.

The 665 East home was built around 1910 and would be dismantled and rebuilt a half-block to the north on 600 East.  The developers argued that the building is too fragile to hydraulically lift and will be restored by a firm with experience in historic building restoration.

The developers hope to start construction spring 2018 on Building B, a 100-room boutique hotel with three-floors of residential that would replace the two homes slated for demolition and the relocated home on 600 South.

Building B is one of six proposed buildings that make up the Trolley Square project.  The building along with Buildings A will be the most prominent and will front 600 South directly south of Trolley Square.  Both buildings will be five-stories tall.  Building A will be all residential.

The building that will front 700 East is referred to as Building C and will be four-stories tall and all residential.  Buildings A, B and C will be built up to the property line on 600 South and 700 East respectively.

Buildings D and E will be midblock and accessed from an internal street connecting 600 South to 700 East.  Both buildings will be five-stories tall and all residential.  The buildings will front a mid-block private street and Ely Place, a midblock street that connects to 700 East.  Building three floors of residential units above two floors of parking.  Both buildings will step back 10 feet at the third floor to reduce the scale of the building.  The buildings will also have setbacks from the property line to reduce the impact to adjacent properties.

The sixth building, Building F will not abut any of the other buildings.  Building F is proposed for the 0.27-acre parcel at the southeast corner of the 600 S and 600 East intersection.  Building F will be a three-story apartment building with two floors of parking and two floors of residential.

*This is an updated version of a previous post.

A preliminary aerial rendering of the proposed Trolley Square mixed-use development looking north towards Trolley Square. 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 isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.