Salt Lake City — (KUTV) The Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency approved the $4 million purchase of an old motel property well-known for attracting crime and frequent visits from police.
The property at 1500 West North Temple, will be torn-down and in its place will be brand-new, affordable apartments in a building that will also house some shops.
Councilman Charlie Luke, who also sits on the redevelopment board, said this is the first project in the city’s bigger plan to spend 21 million dollars on affordable housing.
“There is a definite need for affordable housing citywide,” Luke said.
Prior to a unanimous vote to purchase the property, council members -- who are also the redevelopment board -- made it clear, they want to closely oversee the project and will take proposals/bids from several developers.
This despite hearing a pitch from ICO, a sister company to Ivory Homes, which pitched a proposal for developing the project.
The council members thanked ICO and invited them to submit their bid for the project.
Luke said he wanted to avoid what happened at a building in another part of Salt Lake on State Street near 300 South.
That building, which has been sitting vacant, and partially-constructed for years, is now a big eyesore and tagged with graffiti.
In that case, the redevelopment agency was told by the developer that he would build affordable housing but never delivered after a series of problems that ended in foreclosure of the property.
The city just purchased that property according to Luke.
With the $4 million motel property, Luke said the council will be in the driver’s seat.
“We fell it makes more sense to own the property to have more control over what ends up happening,” he said.