*This article was previously published November 24, 2014 but has been updated to include new renderings.
The Good News:
Construction of the Encore Apartments is moving at a relatively brisk pace. The six-story, 189-unit apartment building will bring new residents to a growing section of Salt Lake and the project’s height will add density and height to the 400 South corridor. The main entrance will front the northwest corner of the 500 East and 400 South intersection.
The Bad News:
The apartments will create a wall along 400 South. The building is setback from the sidewalk with the parking structure occupying most of the street level along 400 South. The project will have almost no street engagement at all. According to Corey Middleton, one of the architects on the project, there will be landscaping between the sidewalk and the building. While shrubbery and trees are nice to have along city streets, this landscaping will serve more as a barrier between the development and the sidewalk, which is the opposite of pedestrian friendly. With the project taking up a large chunk of the block along 400 South, it is unfortunate that the development contributes nothing at the street level. New residents bring more people to the area, but a project this large should engage at the street level, especially a corridor as active as 400 South.