Board votes unanimously to finish project halted by housing crash.
By Christopher Smart for The Salt Lake Tribune
The Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency is pumping new blood, in the form of a $4.5 million loan, into the partially finished Broadway Lofts near Pioneer Park.
"The significance is we finally have a rock-solid developer to finish the project," said Kyle LaMalfa, chairman of the RDA board, which is made up of the Salt Lake City Council.
"It's been an eyesore," he said. "We've been hoping for an opportunity to boost Pioneer Park and the 300 South corridor with new residents in this project."
Ken Milo, the original developer of the high-rise condo project nestled on the east side of 300 South, across from Pioneer Park between 300 and 400 West, ran into hard times in 2009 when the economy and the housing market hit the skids.
But the RDA continued to look at the project as a prime example of future urban living. Earlier this year, the RDA was poised to loan Milo $4.5 million to finish the project, but the deal fell apart.
Enter Micah Peters and James Chellis, who formed BPL South Tower LLC. They acquired the unfinished project for $3.5 million, according to an RDA report, and doubled back to the RDA for a $4.5 million loan.
Tuesday, the board unanimously approved the loan that is expected to be repaid in two years.
"The loft project brings with it an urban lifestyle, like none other [in Salt Lake City]," LaMalfa said. "It's for people who want to downsize and don't need a lot of square footage, but want to be in proximity to what's happening downtown."
It is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
The Broadway Park Lofts are planned to consist of 17 two-story live/work units; two units of 580 square feet; 10 condos of 700 square feet; 10 apartments of 900 square feet; and 12 units of 1,200 square feet. They are projected to be priced from $95,000 to $525,000.
The collateral on the RDA loan is a first-position lien on the Broadway Park Lofts and a similar position on the Telegraph Exchange Building at 847 S. 800 East, the report said.
"This is a much safer loan than what we approved in March [for Milo]," LaMalfa said. "This is very attractive because [the project] is not a high-leveraged situation."