Street Car spurring hundreds of millions in development in booming Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City Updates - Sugar House District
Sugar House Park, surrounded by Salt Lake City's spectacular setting
$400M-plus in private investment, hundreds of housing units coming to Sugar House
Passengers unload from a bus on 2100 South near 1100 East in Salt Lake City, Monday, May 14, 2012. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)
By John Daley
SALT LAKE CITY — The Sugar House business district is on the cusp of major changes, thanks to big
development projects either under way or coming soon.
The private investment projected for the next five years is big, too: $400 million.
"There's an enormous amount of development that's about to occur in the heart of the Sugar House business district,"
said D.J. Baxter, executive director of Salt Lake City's redevelopment agency.
For years, a symbol of Sugar House development was an empty lot in the middle of the business district, nicknamed by
some as "the Sugar Hole." It was a proposed project stalled by a variety of factors, including the economic downturn.
By Ravell Call, Deseret News
Now, that's about to change. Baxter said nine major projects are in the works in the area.
A bus and other traffic move through the intersection of 2100 South and 1100 East in Salt Lake City, Monday, May 14, 2012. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)
They will bring about 1,000 new residential units, and nearly 2 million square feet of new residential, retail and office
"Building up is essentially the next frontier for us," said Salt Lake City Councilman Soren Simonsen.
Simonsen, himself an architect, said the new 2-mile Sugar House streetcar line, which had a groundbreaking last week,
is driving the growth, in part.
Sugar House Street Car Line, now under construction
So are a variety of urban amenities from bike trails to restaurants to entertainment. Plus, a major factor is a strong
demand for housing, particularly apartments.
"What we're hearing from the development community is there's a huge demand for housing. But we can't finance condos
and homeowners can't buy condos because of the credit market," Simonsen said. "Right now, there's huge pent up
demand for other housing — apartments — and that's what's relatively easy to finance today."
Development is slated for each of the seven stops along the new streetcar line.
"I think these projects are all very solid and I seem them each moving forward pretty quickly," Baxter said.
The Sugar House streetcar line is expected to be finished by late 2013.
Following, two of the many projects now readying construction in Sugar House
The Sugar Hole