Rare neighborhood commercial zoning not tempting developers on west side, who again plan a single-use residential project replacing retail

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A second project proposing the redevelopment of parcels at Glendale Plaza shopping center is choosing the way of the first—single-use residential.

At 1145 S. Glendale Drive, replacing a Family Dollar store and its surface parking lot, Mana Charities, a 501(c)3 based in Grantsville, and AeUrbia Architects and Designers have submitted plans for a two-building, three-story, 120-unit project on 2.28 acres.

That developers are shunning the commercial potential of properties that sit on mixed-use zoning is surprising in part because the zoning is so rare on the west side, where separation of uses and single-family zoning dominate.

A single-use townhome project just to the south, incorporating Tejada’s market, while stalled and for sale, also plans to forsake the commercial potential of its zoning.

Glendale Plaza is the orange strip that runs diagonally in the center of the image. It currently hosts the Dual Immersion Academy affiliated with Salt Salt City Schools.

The Family Dollar store that the development will replace offers 25,000 square feet of leasable commercial space that will disappear for at least several generations.

What does that say about the viability of neighborhood commercial in low-density settings? Is the west side of Salt Lake City doomed to suburban-style separation of uses despite city plans that call for walkability and commercial nodes in neighborhoods?

The project

The project consists of two buildings of three stories, each containing 60 homes. The 120 units will be a mix of 96 one- and 24 two-bedrooms. It sits close the Jordan River Parkway as well as several neighborhood parks.

Those 120 apartments on 2.28 acres will achieve a density of 52.6 units per acre – much higher that the R-1-5000 and -7000 that surrounds the patch of CB Community Business zoning it enjoys.

The ground-floor will be made up of mostly residential units, along with tenant amenities like work spaces, a library, exercise room, TV/Game room, community room, and laundry.

Developers in their project narrative acknowledge that “The CB Community Business District is intended to provide for the close integration of moderately sized commercial areas with adjacent residential neighborhoods. The design guidelines are intended to facilitate retail that is pedestrian in the orientation and scale, while also acknowledging the importance of transit and automobile access to the site.”

CB zoning allows single-use residential.

While not officially designated as affordable, the project appears to intend to fit in with market-rate rents in the area, which are more affordable than most parts of the city.

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Posted by Luke Garrott

Luke Garrott, PhD, has published in The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, and written features for the Salt Lake City Weekly City Guide and The West View. A former two-term councilman in Salt Lake City's District 4, he lives in Downtown Salt Lake City and grew up in the Chicago area.