Officials break ground on large Sugar House development

Officials overlook the site of the Park Ave project after a groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

Now that the excavation work is completed, the developers of Park Avenue officially broke ground today at the site of the former Shopko Store in the Sugar House neighborhood.

City and University of Utah Health officials joined developers, Westport Capital Partners LLC, to commemorate the start of construction on the large mixed-use project that replaces the shuttered department store and a large surface parking lot.

“They are moving into one of the best neighborhoods in the country,” said Councilmember Lisa Adams, who represents the neighborhood.

Adams praised the developer’s community outreach which included multiple meetings with Sugar House residents and area businesses.  Additionally, the company launched an online survey to gather feedback from residents across the region on how they would like to see the Shopko site redeveloped.

The site plan for Park Ave.

“What you’ve said has been heard and it matters,” she said.

The 9-acre Park Avenue project will bring a range of new uses to the area, including a 170,000 square-foot University of Utah Health Sugar House Health Center, a 150,000 square-foot multi-tenant Class-A office building, a 150-unit multi-family residential building, art gallery and street-level retail.

The first phase of the project includes the Health Center, office building and the creation of a new pedestrian-friendly street which will reconnect Stringham Ave between Highland Drive and 1300 East.  The project will also include pedestrian and bike improvements, a 1,200-stall subterranean parking podium, retail spaces, a public plaza, programmable active window displays and a 500 square-foot art gallery and event space.

Officials expect Park Ave to bring more than 700 employees and hundreds of visitors daily to the area when both phases are completed.

University of Utah Health will be the sole tenant of the 170,000 square-foot building, referred to as 80 Park, on the southeast corner of the development.  The project’s architect, Dave Dixon, has designed two other University of Utah Health Centers.  The Health Center will include a deli, pharmacy and full outpatient services including the Moran Eye Center, primary care, radiology, urgent care and specialist services.

Wesport has select CBRE to oversee the leasing of the 150,000 square-foot office building. The office building, referred to as Park 60, will include an on-site fitness center, secure bike storage and locker room facilities for employees.

“The structure is in an ideal location to tap into its surroundings; it is directly across the street from Sugar House Park and sits next to a plethora of shopping, entertainment and dining options,” said Tab Cornelison, senior vice president for CBRE. “The site also offers unmatched accessibility, with walking and biking trails, the S-Line streetcar, buses, and direct access to I-80.”

The second phase of the project includes the mixed-use residential building.  The building, referred to as Park 40, will be seven stories with five wood-framed floors atop a two-story parking podium.  The building will consist of approximately 208 residential units that will be a mix of studio, one and two bedroom apartments.  The wood-framed levels will be setback at the podium level with retail space available at the north end of the building fronting Stringham Avenue.

According to the developers, the Park Ave name was inspired by the project’s direct proximity to both Sugar House and Fairmont Parks.  The construction of the project’s first phase should be completed by spring 2019.

Rendering of Park 60 as designed by Dixon Architects.
Rendering of the north face of the proposed Shopko Block development. Image courtesy Dixon Architects.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at