Construction is Underway on a Downtown Triple-threat

April 15, 2021 Written by Melissa Fields

In case it’s been a while since you’ve visited downtown, be prepared for lots of change when you do go. Most of the laundry list of construction projects planned prior to the pandemic are now underway, including the Convention Center Hotel, The Revival, Paperbox Lofts and many more.

While each one of these projects is sure to deepen downtown Salt Lake City’s unique vibrancy, one in particular—now under construction at 255 South State Street—promises a welcome trifecta: affordable housing, activated public spaces and preservation of one of downtown Salt Lake City’s only remaining single-family homes.

On a recent Wednesday in late March 2021, as I peered over the construction fencing surrounding the 255 South State site, I saw construction workers busily directing a fleet of backhoes moving earth and detritus around a lot-sized hole in the ground.  Illinois-based Brinshore Development is now well underway since initiating construction in January 2021.  While I might have expected more progress, Whitney Weller, Brinshore senior vice president, explained that before her company could hang one steel beam to begin raising their project, the site required some serious reclamation. 

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In 2012, a previous developer had broken ground at 255 South State on a mixed-use development—an effort that was eventually abandoned in 2015. A subsequent building analysis revealed the structural system was unstable and would have to be demolished. And so when the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City purchased the property at auction and selected Brinshore, along with KTGY Architects + Planners, to take another stab at redeveloping it, erasing the past developer’s mistakes became part of the deal. “Though there were many challenges to overcome with the site, David Brint (Brinshore principal) has spent a good deal of time in Utah and loves it there,” Weller said, “and Salt Lake City has a lot going for it, with a great food scene and an abundance of local partners to work with, which were all draws for us.”

Brinshore’s plans for 255 South State call for a modern 190-unit mid-rise and high-rise community featuring affordable, workforce and market-rate housing.  The ground-level will feature a pedestrian walkway with live/work units for entrepreneurs, community gathering space and retail and food concepts designed by Plowshare Partners, a venture between local restaurateur Ryan Lowder of the Copper Kitchen, Copper Onion, Copper Common and The Daily Café, and James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Zakary Pelaccio.  According to Keith McCloskey, LEED AP, associate principal at KTGY, these uses will be packaged within a contemporary aesthetic—utilizing galvanized steel awnings and detailing, aluminum paneling and brick facades—that will both set off and complement downtown’s rich architectural diversity. “255 South State will add a modern twist to the downtown business district’s skyline by combining the elegant look of contemporary glass and sleek metal with the industrial feel of an artist loft community,” McCloskey said.

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But what is sure to be 255 South State’s most defining element is its open-to-the-public paseo—a wide, plaza-like walkway tucked between the project’s eight-story south tower and 12-story north tower. This space will not only create an inviting connection between State Street to the west and the edgy Edison Street commercial area, home to Campos Coffee and Diabolical Records, to the east, but will be a vibrant destination in of itself. An amphitheater, open-air dining and “Artisan Alley” are a few of the features along this walkway, which travels through the development on a visually pleasing diagonal. The focal point of the paseo’s eastern end is the charming Cramer House, an 1890-era brick building where Danish immigrant Christopher Cramer lived and sold the flowers he grew in gardens that once populated the block. Brinshore will restore the Cramer House, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982, to use an event space or unique dining concept.

Finally, thanks to its almost dead-center locale in downtown Salt Lake City, future residents of this exciting new development will enjoy steps-away access from the Gallivan Plaza TRAX station, multiple downtown performance venues, museums, grocery stores restaurants and nightlife.  

Downtown Salt Lake City’s 255 South State development is scheduled for completion by early 2023. For progress updates, visit