West Quarter Phase Two 16-story residential tower plans clarify

Updated plans for the West Quarter development hit the Planning Commission this week as west Downtown continues its rebirth after the depredations of urban renewal in the 1950s and 60s.

New renderings show how the project, between 200 and 300 West, proposes to partially fill the gaping hole in design fabric on 200 South between the Salt Palace Convention Center and the Gateway mall.

The West Quarter’s first phase, fronting 300 West and 100 South, which includes two hotels, multiple restaurant + bar spaces, and the Charles residential structure, is nearing completion. The Charles’ penthouse includes the state’s most expensive multi-family units, as Building Salt Lake reported last month.

The second phase consists of a proposed 323-unit, 16-story, 185-foot residential mixed-use tower on 200 South, known as The Grid SLC. Required to gain approval from the Planning Commission for a height increase in D-4 zoning, a key part of its design review concerns the way it treats the public right-of-way, a key east-west corridor in the city.

Images courtesy SLC Planning and Dwell Design Studio.

The building will also be oriented to the development’s interior, where a new street running north-south will meet with an east-west corridor built as part of the development, called Quarter Row.  There will be a public easement on the new passageway.

The design review application includes updated language from the application originally filed in February, including what the pedestrian experience along 200 South will be like.

It describes “semi-outdoor dining patios, adjoined to interior retail spaces” with “an operable south wall that can open to the street.”

The 21, 400 sf of ground-floor retail will likely divided into “5 or 6 different retail spaces,” which is an increase from the February application, which talked of 2-3 spaces. Developers have hoped a mid-size grocery would occupy a majority of that square footage.

With the recent failure of Lee’s Market on 400 West and 300 North after less than three years, it will be interesting if west Downtown will support such a venture in the future. Recent addition of the convention center hotel and hundreds of new units on the block immediately to the west of the West Quarter may make a mid-size grocery viable.

On the building’s east frontage, “Along Quarter Row is a hardscape that can be used by retail spaces for outdoor dining. In the southeast corner of the building on Level 01 is a covered arcade adjacent to retail spaces that could be used as outdoor dining.”

Images courtesy Dwell Design Studio.

Architects at Dwell Design Studio describe materials continuity in the pedestrian experience from 200 South wrapping around to the north. “On the east side, along Quarter Row, the use of the brick base extends around the corner continuing the retail articulation along the base of the building from the 200 S façade. Brick also highlights the smaller retail space on the north end of the east façade.”

Planning staff is recommending approval on several conditions, including that the existing street trees, mature honey locusts along 200 South, be preserved.

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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.