J. Fisher scraps Moda Luxe, unveils new plan for mixed-use building Downtown

Lead image by Dwell Design Studio.

Interested in seeing where developers are proposing and building new apartments in Salt Lake, or just want to support a local source of news on what’s happening in your neighborhood? Subscribe to Building Salt Lake.

Forget about Moda Luxe and the tower next to it.

After years of delay and the acquisition of a neighboring property, J. Fisher Companies has rewritten its plans for a significant Downtown site at 250 S. 200 E.

The developer behind the project in north Central City released renderings detailing a new project on an expanded site that now includes frontage on Edison Street.

The proposed project is now shorter and has slightly fewer units while adding a mid-block walkway and more space for restaurants on the ground floor (and a bar underground).

The group says it scrapped Moda Luxe after it got the opportunity to pick up an adjacent building immediately to the north. (That building subsequently burned down shortly before J. Fisher was slated to demolish it.)

Acquisition of the neighboring building “required us to abandon the approved plans and re-engage an architect to design a new project that seamlessly incorporates both properties,” J. Fisher representatives wrote in their design review application. 

The project has been a journey. J. Fisher had been working toward building a 220-unit, nine-story apartment building on a smaller footprint. The company cleared the land in preparation for construction. Then the state of Utah announced it planned to build a 10-story parking tower behind the project and things slowed down. The state later backed down from the plan.

Executives from the company didn’t respond to written questions about the changes to the project.

The additional space gave J. Fisher both the Edison Street frontage and the opportunity to add a mid-block walkway into the project that will connect Edison with 200 East. 

Preliminary rendering of the proposed mid-block walkway at the Edison Apartments. Rendering by Design Workshop.

Development Details

  • Owner: J. Fisher Companies
  • Architect: Dwell Design Studio
  • Civil Engineers: Talisman Civil Consultants
  • Mechanical Engineers: PVE Mechanical
  • Landscape Design: Design Workshop
  • Interior Design: HPA Design Group

The Edison Apartments, as they’re now called, would draw inspiration from Denver’s Dairy Block, an activated midblock walkway with multiple restaurants and events space, plus entrances to the office and other buildings that frame the alley.

The Edison walkway would include space for multiple food vendors, plus seating, overhead lighting and planters.

J. Fisher needs approval to build a shorter building than is required by the newly adopted building heights and street activation requirements that require buildings in the Downtown-1 zone to be no less than 100 feet.

The building would be seven stories and 83 feet tall. It would include ground-floor retail on 200 East, including two restaurants and a smaller retail spot that the plans identify as a coffee shop.

Edison would have private amenity space on the ground-floor. Below that is a speakeasy with access directly from Edison Street and the midblock walkway.

The developers are pointing out that the city previously allowed CW Urban to build less than the minimum required height for its corner parcel on 200 E. 200 S., which is now a neighboring project. 

Project Details 

  • Studios: 40 units 
  • One-bedroom: 101 units
  • Two-bedroom: 56 units
  • Total units: 197

J. Fisher says it plans to put a speakeasy below grade, beneath a restaurant that will be built fronting 200 East. 

It says the midblock walkway will include space for three small-scale food vendors to help activate the space. The walkway will include seating, vegetation, lighting and other artistic elements, according to the application. It will be 20 feet wide.

“It was important for us during the design of the building to address Edison Street in a way that will continue to activate and energize that unique street,” they wrote.

242 parking stalls, some underground beneath two floors above.

Interested in seeing where developers are proposing and building new apartments in Salt Lake, or just want to support a local source of news on what’s happening in your neighborhood? Subscribe to Building Salt Lake.

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.