North Temple Project, Lusso 2, approved despite public outcry

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The Salt Lake City Planning Commission approved Phase 2 of a development at  57 N 1000 W, the site of a Mexican restaurant, this week. 

This project was initially proposed in June of 2022, and required numerous changes through a design review and planned development, including ground floor activation, glass usage, and building facade length. 

The developer received permission for many changes from what the current zoning requires for the Lusso Development, including: 

  • Reducing the amount of ground floor activation on Learned Avenue from 80% to 37% 
  • Reducing glass coverage of the ground floor on Learned Avenue from 45% to 34%
  • Extending the facade on 1000 W from the limit of 200’ to 282’

Even with the reduction requested, this project features no ground-floor retail spaces. 

Jarod Hall, a principal at di’velpt design, a Building Salt Lake Sponsor, said to the commission, “The first phase of the project has an empty retail spot, and so do surrounding projects,  so the development team was wary of building more retail spaces.”

The designer claims that the first-floor apartments and building amenity spaces are built with high enough ceilings to allow a future transition to retail spaces if the market transitions back to favorable conditions. 

Opponents of the project said they wanted to protect the local restaurant being torn down, El Asadero Mexican Restaurant. 

The Rose Park Brown Berets compared the Lusso project to the Kum & Go debacle earlier this year, when developers proposed a gas station next to Sugar House Park, a proposal that the city denied after backlash.

Commissioner Aimee Burrows pushed back on that comparison,  as multi-family housing is a by-right use along the North Temple corridor, which was not the case with the proposed gas station in Sugar House. 

Other members of the commission raised the idea of creating or leasing existing retail space to the restaurant.

This project is another addition along North Temple without street frontage or activation. While developers and designers may claim the market does not allow it, several amenities are being added to attract walkers and members of the public. 

The proposed project has balconies but no stoops or retail spaces and less glass usage than required. This type of development is not in agreement with Salt Lake’s new design changes in other parts of the city to encourage ground-floor retail. 

Despite community concern and that of some commissioners, the requests were only for design reviews and not for adding multi-family in the area. Both requests passed with the commission voting 6-2.

Project Breakdown

  • 160 units, all 1-bdrm
  • 149 parking stalls, almost 1:1, which is much more than the area requires
  • Balconies for all: each unit facing Learned Ave, 1000 W, and N Temple floors 2-7 

Development Details

  • Architects: di’velpt design
  • DG Construction
  • Wilding Engineering

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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.