Interest in Central 9th expands as developer seeks to build low-income housing on 300 West

A developer is asking for permission to build a bit higher to accommodate for copious parking for a building that would bring low-income units to the Ballpark neighborhood near the booming Central 9th area.

The Chrome Works project at 269 W. Brooklyn Ave (near 1000 South, 300 West) would bring 234 rental units to an area that has multiple multi-family projects under construction.

The ensuing influx of residents will continue fleshing out the neighborhood, technically Ballpark but which in the past two years has rapidly begun filling out as the newest urban Downtown-adjacent neighborhood, west of State Street and near the 900 South off-ramp.

While the Chrome Works building would match some of the shape and feel of other residential buildings in development in Central 9th, it isn’t in the form-based code that has shaped the neighborhood. 

Instead, it sits in the city’s CG (commercial) zone, which comes with suburban-level parking requirements and far fewer design requirements.

Chrome Works is in the city’s design review process because it’s asking for an additional 5 feet of height to help accommodate for the 468 parking spaces it’s proposing on-site, two spaces for every micro unit in the building.

The project would include 191 studio apartments, most of which are 383 square feet but which range from 332 square feet to 447 square feet. There would be 22 one-bedroom units ranging from 460 to 673 square feet, and 21 two-bedroom units ranging from 580 to 677 square feet. 

Using low-income tax credits issued by the Utah Housing Corporation, Chrome Works would target residents making 60% area median income (AMI), which in this project’s zip code is about $26,200 a year, or about $13 an hour full-time every week of the year.

That means rent should average about $655 a month, which is 30% of rental cost at 60% AMI, a type of housing in particular shortage along the Wasatch Front. It’s also a housing type that is notoriously difficult for developers to carry out as they look to compile various funding sources to account for potential lost income earned from market-rate projects.

Another low-income project in Ballpark fell through last month after starting the design review process.

Liberty Wells is seeing the development of low- and very-low-income housing at the site of the former Capitol Motel near 1749 S. State.

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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.