New style of urban living in Murray

Rendering of Birkhill town-homes by Henry Walker Homes.
Rendering of Birkhill town-homes by Henry Walker Homes.

A new level of urban living has arrived in Murray.  Murray’s Fireclay district was one of the Salt Lake region’s first transit oriented developments, or  TOD’s.   The transit-centered neighborhood now has another  first with the newly constructed live/work town-homes on Birkhill Boulevard at 50 W and 4400 S.

The Birkhill town-homes start selling in the low $200,000’s and are designed around the pedestrian experience. The commercial and home office sections of these homes are located on the ground floor and front the sidewalk, encouraging passersby to window shop. Each unit is complete with a two-car garage accessible from the rear.   Although parking is available for each unit, the development is less than a block away from the Murray North TRAX station.

In addition to the tax benefits they offer, live/work homes traditionally follow the New Urbanist model, which allows for the creation of complete neighborhoods by having most of the household’s needs accessed within a 15 minute walking distance.

The Birkhill town-homes join the ranks of the already constructed Birkhill on Main apartments, Birkhill at Fireclay condominiums, Lionsgate apartments and Brickgate apartments.  The Fireclay district also has a pocket-park with a playground and basketball court, as well as a recreational walking path.

Henry Walker Homes plans for future phases to make the area more urban and a complete neighborhood.   There is still more work needed as the Fireclay district lacks is a grocery store.   The closest grocery store is nine blocks away at 845 E 4500 S, which according to Google Maps is 33 minute trip by foot.  The neighborhood also has many incomplete sidewalks that abruptly end, or are not ADA compliant.  These issues will need to be corrected before the the neighborhood can be considered walkable.

The Fireclay district is striving to bring an urban neighborhood to an otherwise suburban community. Bordered by State St and its many strip malls to the east, the car dominant 4500 S to the south, UTA’s Frontunner and Union Pacific lines to the west, and heavy industry and a polluted section of Big Cottonwood Creek to the north. The Fireclay is becoming an urban gem amidst suburban chaos.