New complex expected to go up in downtown SLC

Downtown Salt Lake City will be experiencing upgrades in the near future, including new luxury apartment complexes and fewer vacant buildings. Real estate in Salt Lake City saw an increase in median home prices from May to June by 6 percent compared with the same time last year, according to The Associated Press.

Some real estate experts believe now is a perfect time to add a luxury apartment complex at 150 S. 400 East in Salt Lake City. The complex is a joint project by Wasatch Advantage Group and Strategic Multifamily called CityScape Apartments.

The project will feature 122 apartments and have amenities like a rooftop courtyard and spa, business conference center, dog park, outdoor fireplace and barbecue areas. Officials expect to break ground on the building this fall, and the new addition will also attract new businesses to the area.

"The demographics, job growth and excitement in downtown Salt Lake City lend themselves well to the development of luxury apartments," Adam Paul, partner in Strategic Multifamily Opportunity Fund, told The Salt Lake City Tribune. "Because of their experience and expertise in apartment rentals, our joint venture with Wasatch Advantage Group was an easy choice."

The city is also taking extra steps to make sure the community is attractive to new residents, as there are currently many vacant buildings downtown. Three years after a “demolition ordinance” was formulated to save buildings from being torn down, city officials are implementing new regulations that will require property owners to keep their vacant buildings habitable. Demolition would only be a solution if a property owner submitted a plan for a replacement structure and obtains a building permit.

This ordinance was created because there are many dilapidated structures throughout the city that can legally be kept in their current state, and remain eyesores for residents and prospective buyers. But city officials are worried that some landowners are just sitting on property until the value goes up, while doing nothing in the meantime.

Having a vacated building around real estate properties causes the value to go down, according to Council Chairman Soren Simonsen who is a supporter of the ordinance. Some city owned buildings that have been vacant attract the homeless and crime, which has some officials believing that structures should be maintained by the city, like council member Jill Remington Love.