New proposal looks to bring new affordable units near Ballpark Station

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As the 300 West corridor is recognized nationally, many new projects are being built and proposed along and near the corridor in a “build it, and they will come” fashion.

One new proposal, named “The Paxton,” looks to add a mix of micro-units and one-bedrooms to the area. 

Located at 203 W. Paxton Ave., the new project calls for a mixed-use, seven-story building containing 302 units and a small retail space. There would be 284 micro-unit studios, averaging under 300 square feet, and 18 one-bedrooms, averaging around 500 square feet. 

The project location also contains the end of an old vacated alley and looks to connect it with a pedestrian corridor at the Paxton Avenue railway crossing. This connection would give pedestrians and cyclists multiple options for getting around the building and routing through the neighborhood area between 300 West and the rail lines at 200 West.

The Paxton would include parking, one level below grade and the other ground level, bike storage, a courtyard, a mail room, a staffed leasing office, a fitness center, and rentable storage rooms on each floor. 

The planned retail space would be located on the northeast corner of the building along Paxton Avenue and is planned to be around 1500 square feet. The retail was included to comply with the city’s new ground floor activation, even though the project doesn’t front a major street or intersection.

Paxton Ave for years has functioned nearly as a dead-end street that effectively terminated at the UTA Trax line. People walking or biking could continue down 200 West after crossing the tracks, but others were routed north to 1300 South.

The Paxton is one of several projects whose unit mix is heavy on micro-unit studios. A similar project nearby was recently changed to offer a wider selection of room types and commercial spaces to comply with new zoning standards for ground floor activation. 

Other small-scale micro-studio projects have been built or proposed throughout the city but on a significantly smaller scale. These include a project in the Central 9th neighborhood and one in Central City

The Paxton, however, seeks to have all the units rented below 80% AMI, with 94 % being below 60% AMI. This would make the project fall under the “affordable housing” umbrella. 

Renderings provided by Knighton Architecture + Planning.

The location of the Paxton project is also key, as it is across the railway corridor from the Ballpark TRAX station and a block away from the revamped 300 West corridor. The Paxton also seeks to be a clean energy building by lining the rooftop with solar panels. 

This is a new proposal for the same site that saw an affordable housing project that never came to be stuck within the city as it challenged the design against new activation guidelines. 

While all studio apartments of this size may not seem appealing at first glance to some, a project of this scale, and in this location, seeks to expand different housing types and grow the affordable housing category. This project is a much better fit for the neighborhood than the previous proposal and aims to address the city’s activation guidelines and housing goals. 

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Email Zeke Peters

Posted by Zeke Peters

Zeke Peters is a dual-masters student at the University of Utah studying Urban Planning and Public Administration. He works as a planner and designer in Salt Lake City. He currently resides in downtown Salt Lake and is from Austin, Minnesota, the birthplace of SPAM.