(KUTV)- A high-rise building, about 250 feet tall, could be built in downtown Salt Lake City offering 300 apartments in a part of town where it’s hard to find a place with affordable rent.
The planned development called "Liberty Sky," and would be located at 150 South State Street.
Developer Dan Lofgren of Cowboy Partners said he will submit a request to the Salt Lake City Planning Department to allow the tall building which would be about 100 feet higher than what’s normally allowed.
The planning department said the building must meet certain design criteria in order to be approved for the height.
If it all goes as planned, the apartment units would start at about $1,000 rent for studios and go a lot higher for 2-3 bedroom units.
Christian Harrison, who heads the Community Council in downtown Salt Lake City, said he is thrilled for the project – even though the housing won’t be affordable.
“I want a thriving downtown community. We really need housing for every income,” he said.
Harrison said for many years, during the 60’s and 70’s, the downtown population cleared out. Then, over the last 20 years, people started returning to downtown.
Now, there is not enough housing in any price range.
Harrison said even if the new development is not affordable, it will help ease the housing crunch and give options for people of higher incomes who are edging-out people on tighter budgets.
Melissa Jensen, Housing and Neighborhood Development Director for Salt Lake City, said the city has a new plan for housing and is working with developers to create more affordable housing.
Ideally, people should pay no more than 30 percent of their income on rent. That’s not the case right now.
“What we know is about a quarter of residents in Salt Lake are paying half of their monthly income toward rent,” she said.