New ‘luxury’ student housing in the works near Trolley Square

A firm that’s been active in the Salt Lake City market in 2021 is planning to transform an office building near Trolley Square into luxury student housing for students at the University of Utah.

What’s noteworthy about the project is that it would add dozens of four-bedroom units, a relative rarity in the building boom.

The developers say the project would come in two phases at 675 E. 500 S. It would involve retrofitting an existing building and replacing a three-story parking garage with an eight-story dorm.

“The first is an existing 6 story office building comprised of about 75,000 (square feet) that will be renovated into student housing units and associated amenities,” the developer wrote in a design review application. “The second will be a newly constructed parking podium with student housing units above with associated amenities.”

The housing would put students about 20 minutes from Presidents’ Circle via transit, or about 2 miles west, and in a part of the city that’s much more walkable and bikeable than much of the area surrounding the U.

Combined, the buildings would provide 616 bedrooms in a mix of studios and one-, two- and four-bedroom units. The new building would include 92 units, while the retrofitted building would provide 136.

In total, the new buildings would include 300 parking spaces for the 228 new units. That’s 1.32 spaces per house, or 0.49 per bedroom.

The ground floor of the new building would be 12 feet tall, with 10-foot floors above, eight above ground in total in an 87-foot tall building near Downtown.

The existing parking garage will be demolished and replaced with the second building, which will include student housing, a lobby, fitness center, study areas and a clubroom.

The new building would also include “a swimming pool or spa, outdoor patio, firepit, grilling stations, bar, trellis and landscaping.”

Retail/lease space to replace the existing restaurant operations will also be provided within the new construction.

“In the end, this will be one of (if not the only) large-scale purpose-built student housing communities in downtown SLC, which is very needed,” the developers wrote publicly after closing. “We are more than excited to bring our student housing skills to SLC for the students at the University of Utah.”

The project was submitted for design review this week by representatives from Alta Terra Real Estate and BKV Group. Renderings weren’t included in the submission.

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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.