HLC approves South Temple project

A long-vacant lot on one of Salt Lake’s most historic streets is one step closer to be developed.  After three failed attempts, representatives from Garbett Homes finally got the approvals needed to build the Hardison Apartments, a multifamily mixed-use project at the intersection of 500 East and South Temple, during Thursday’s Historic Landmark Commission (HLC) meeting.

The design of the Hardison has changed as many times as the developers have presented to the HLC. The developers have submitted three different designs to the city, and each failed to impress the HLC.

The process had frustrated Company President Bryson Garbett that he threatened to abandon the project after the HLC again rejected the project during its February meeting.

The approved design is significantly smaller than the original proposal.  The original project consisted of a six-story building with 176 residential units.  The new version of the Hardison consists of a four-story building with 77 units, six of which will be live/work units.

“I think we’ve come up with a project that is substantially improved,” said commission member Kenton Peters.

As with previous meetings, residents expressed concerns over parking and potential impacts to South Temple.  According to commission members, residents’ comments submitted to planning since the last meeting with Garbett Homes were equally split for and against the project.

“Part of this appears to be an issue of beauty being in the eye of the beholder,” said Wally Cooper of CSRA Architects.

Michael Iverson, chair of the Central City Neighborhood Council (CCNC), spoke in support of the Hardison development and thanked the developers for listening to residents’ concerns and keeping the CCNC regularly updated.

With the loss of 100 units and the reduction in the size of the project, the developers withdrew plans to include affordable housing units.  The project will also no longer include studio apartments.  Just under 70 percent of the units will be one-bedroom units, while 18 percent will be two bedroom units.  The developers added four three-bedroom units that will be on the second and third floors.  Six live/work commercial units will occupy the ground level fronting South Temple.

The project was approved unanimously but with several conditions.  Most of the conditions focused on the podium level, including a redesign to make the entry to the apartments more prominent in relation to the live/work units, increasing the height of the ground level fronting South Temple and redesign the first-floor windows.

Renderings of the Hardison Apartments as viewed from South Temple. Image courtesy Salt Lake City Planning Division.
Rendering of the Hardison Apartments as viewed from South Temple. Image courtesy Salt Lake City Planning Division.
Aerial renderings of the Hardison Apartments as designed by CSRA Architects. Image courtesy Salt Lake City Planning Division.
Aerial rendering of the Hardison Apartments as designed by CSRA Architects. Image courtesy Salt Lake City Planning Division.
Rendering of the rear courtyard at the Hardison Apartments. Image courtesy Salt Lake City Planning Division.
Rendering of the rear courtyard at the Hardison Apartments. Image courtesy Salt Lake City Planning Division.

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.