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Big plans for Sugar House: 1,000 residential units planned along streetcar line

Thursday, June 21, 20121188 views

The Sugar House streetcar project is drawing new construction to Sugar House. Upcoming construction includes office space, retail stores and more than 1,000 new residential units.

“Part of the mission [of the streetcar] was to create a vibrant and lively neighborhood,” Redevelopment Agency Spokesman Nicholas Rupp said, adding that he is excited about the construction going on around the streetcar terminus.

“This is the vision I had when I first ran for council almost seven years ago,” said Soren Simonsen, Salt Lake City Councilmember for District Seven. He said the recent growth is just the beginning.

“There are very few communities like Sugar House,” Simonsen said.

Fairmont Park has more than 15 acres of space and Sugar House Park has more than 90 acres that can be developed. The large amount of space is one of the qualities Simonsen feels is unique to Sugar House.

“I think the [streetcar] project is accomplishing what was envisioned with the federal funding. And the private investment will likely continue well into the future,” Simonsen said.

The planned developments coming up near the streetcar line are all expected to be completed within the next five years.

Cowboy Partners, the Granite Furniture Parcel, Sugar House Loop, Sugar House Apartments, and new housing at Westminster are already under construction or will begin construction this year. Both Wilmington North and South projects are expected to begin at the end of this year.

SH Center West and SH Center East are the projects which are the farthest out. The Developer is still in the early stages of planning, but the projects are expected to be completed before 2016.

When all of the construction is completed, the square footage will take up almost 2 million square feet of land.

“We’re excited that [the streetcar] is bringing businesses in,” Rupp said. “Many people recognize that the transit line will be a prime place for business.”

Rupp said that Sugar House has had a void in public transit for several years. The streetcar will allow residents to run errands without using a car.

“There’s a growing population who want to walk and live more urban,” Rupp said.

In addition to the growth in the community, the plans for Phase 2 of the streetcar will be announced in the next three months. The second phase of the streetcar project involves what will happen to the section where Phase 1 ends, at McClelland Street and 2200 South.

“There’s been a ton of great input,” Salt Lake Transportation Director Robin Hutcheson said. Now the plans are going through the city adoption process. This will involve city council meetings and public hearings.

“We want it further to the east,” Simonsen said. He added that there are more development opportunities in that direction. Simonsen would like to see it tie into Sugar House Park.

The Salt Lake City Planning Commission will make a decision on which alignment to choose. There are six alternatives under consideration. The public can make comments at www.shstreetcar.com.

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