October 13, 2008

75-Unit Transit-Oriented Condo Project to Rise in South SL

By Rattle, Barbara

Ground should be broken this fall for The Lofts @ Meadowbrook, an approximately 96,000 square foot development in South Salt Lake that will consist of 75 residential condominiums and 11,000 square feet of retail and office space.

To be located on one acre at 3800 S. West Temple, immediately adjacent to the Meadowbrook MAX station, the project is being developed by Derek Whetten, a commercial real estate broker in Utah County. He said The Lofts should take about 15 months to construct.

"It's obviously oriented toward the transit community, those that want to sell a vehicle and spent most of their commuting time on the TRAX lines," he said. "UTA has a program where both the residential owners and the commercial tenants can, for $250 a year, get unlimited use of the whole UTA system. For $21 a month they can use it all they want. That can't be beat."

The project will be five stories tall, with one penthouse unit rising to six levels, he said. The condos will be a mix of one, two- and thee-bedroom units, most priced between $175,000 and $250,000, with a handful a larger, penthouse-style units with wraparound balconies selling in the $300,000s.

"We're really focusing on an entry-level type product," Whetter said. "We've really tried to mix it up quite a bit so that we can appeal to a large group. We anticipate a lot of young professionals, first-time homebuyers and expect we'll have a pretty good share of empty-nesters who want to have kind of the urban experience at a more affordable price point than you're going to get in downtown Salt Lake City - a good urban experience with amenities. Right across the street is Harmony Park, a very nice city-owned park with softball fields and a tot lot and lots of grass.

There are several office buildings in the immediate area as well. So we feel like it's a neighborhood that has a lot of potential. It really is hard to beat."

Amenities will include a fitness center, lounge, central courtyard and large rooftop patio.

The first units should be completed next summer with full completion slated for late 2009. Commercial tenants being sought include a corner grocery/deli and smaller professional service office tenants.

While designed around buyers who are heavy users of mass transit, most units at The Lofts will come with one parking stall, the larger condos with two.

"But our expectation is that everybody will have one vehicle and will ride the TRAX to work or downtown Salt Lake or the hospital down the way or to school at the U of U and they'll use their car for weekends," he said.

Russell Platt of Lloyd Platt Architects has designed the project. A general contractor has not yet been selected. Whetten said while he has some financing in place, he is seeking additional investors.

Copyright Enterprise Business Newspaper Inc. Sep 15, 2008

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