RDA approves loan for new development in Central Ninth

Rendering of the proposed Central Ninth Apartment Project. Courtesy of Form Development.
Rendering of the proposed Central Ninth Apartment Project. Courtesy of Form Development.

More market rate apartments are planned for the Central Ninth neighborhood.  The Salt Lake City Council acting as the Board of Directors for the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) unanimously approved a $267,000 loan request for Fayette Investments, LLC to acquire two adjacent parcels at 254 West Fayette Avenue and 968 South Washington Street.

The parcels, combined consist of 0.18 acres and include a boarded up duplex and auto repair shop. Fayette Investments owns an adjacent lot and would consolidate the three lots to build a new residential development.  The developers plan to build a four-story building with 43 residential units and amenities including a rooftop deck and gym.

“I am excited to see some development in this project area,” said City Council member, Erin Mendenhall.  

The new development in the RDA’s West Temple Gateway project, the area bounded by 600 South to Fayette Street and Main Street to 300 West.  The RDA has invested heavily in the area surrounding the 900 South TRAX station.

Two RDA projects: Central Ninth Market and the Jefferson Walkway are expected to start  construction start soon. The first phase of the Central Ninth Market will include a mix of restaurants, retail and offices fronting 900 South just east of the home of Atlas Architects (the project’s developers) and Blue Copper coffee.  The second phase will include townhomes on the south side of the lot.

The RDA plans to create a mid-block pedestrian connection between Jefferson Street and the 900 South TRAX station on 200 West.  Small homes are planned to front the pedestrian walkway.

In February, the City Council approved a height variance for the 9th Street Village Apartments, a proposed five-story, 85 residential unit development.  With five floors of residential above structured parking, the developers needed the variance to allow them to build as proposed.  Under the previous zoning, developers could only build up to 45 feet at the intersection of Fayette and 200 West, instead of up to 65 feet as is allowed at several other prominent intersections within the project area.

According to the RDA staff memo, the developers are securing financing for the project but were unable to secure financing for the two parcels because of their deteriorating condition.  The loan from the RDA is to cover the cost of the land acquisition only.

The loan required approval from the RDA Board because the units will be market rate.  While the City prefers new projects to include some affordable or income-restricted housing, the RDA has identified the West Temple Gateway area as an area with an abundance of affordable housing.

The Board also approved a 4 percent interest rate instead of the 5 percent rate that is standard for-profit developers, because the developers promise to repay the loan in 18 months instead of the normal 36 month repayment period.

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 isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.