Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Trolley in the Deseret News

Deseret Morning News, Tuesday, November 07, 2006

South Salt Lake mixed-use project sought

By Amelia Nielson-Stowell
Deseret Morning News

SOUTH SALT LAKE — A developer is hoping to capitalize on the transportation stops in South Salt Lake and create a 12-acre community with retail and residential space.

Deseret Morning News graphic
The $350 million to $400 million mixed-use project, Market Station, would feature 15-17 buildings, some up to 11 stories high, with hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail space and 600 residential units.

"No doubt it's a tired area that's been light industrial in the area for years, and it's run its course in that use," said developer Steve Aste. "It's long overdue for a project like this."

Aste, managing partner of Park City-based Cascade Developments Partners, is building the project with Los Angeles-based West Millennium Homes. The two already opened phase one of their project earlier this year. That development, Central Pointe, a 76-unit condo complex with seven retail stores, is located at 2150 S. Main St.

Market Station is phase two of the expansion and will extend from 2100 South to 2300 South and Main Street to State Street. The site was formerly home to Burton Lumber, which vacated the grounds over a year ago.

The project is centered around various transportation hubs. Both Interstate 15 and Interstate 80 feed into the project, as does TRAX. A proposed trolley line would run from the Central Pointe TRAX stop near Market Station to Sugar House on an existing hard-rail line along 2200 South, a Utah Transit Authority right-of-way.

The idea of a trolley has been discussed for years, but Aste said it could be a reality in the next three or four years. However, UTA's Justin Jones said the earliest it could be created would be 2030. Currently, UTA is focusing on extending other TRAX lines before developing the trolley system.

"Since we have a corridor and a right of way, it would be silly not to use it for some sort of transportation purpose," said Jones, the UTA spokesman. "But there isn't any funding for it."

Aste's project and the lack of parking in Sugar House have spurred additional city support for the trolley line. South Salt Lake and Salt Lake City have both funded a preliminary study on the proposal. Results could be released by January.

That study will explore various options for the UTA rail corridor, such as using a trolley, light-rail car or bus, and even the possibility of adding a walking and biking trail next to the rail line.

But Bill Anderson, chairman of the South Salt Lake City Council, said the council does not want to use that rail corridor for the project because it cuts through neighborhoods and would likely have few if any stops within South Salt Lake. He favors a soft-tire trolley bus that would run on the streets and stop every few blocks.


-We plan on having Trolley Stops in SSLC @ 3rd W. ,West Temple, State, 3rd E. , & 5th E. . Are 5 Trolley Stops in SSLC enough???



Market Station, however, is a welcome project in the city of 22,000, where 62 percent of residents are renters.

"Because of that location, it obviously has potential for development," Anderson said. "We're thrilled that somebody is willing to take the risk. That is not a cheap gamble to be taking."

Unlike other retail-driven projects, Market Station will be its own small community, with a grocery store and dry cleaner.

"It's going to be different from what (Salt Lake) is doing at City Creek or the Gateway, because those are destination malls. This is centered around community first," he said. "I don't view it as competition, I view it as an alternative."

In the coming month, South Salt Lake's Redevelopment Agency Board will discuss making the 12-acre site a redevelopment project. If that is approved, property-tax dollars could be diverted to it for infrastructure costs, such as redoing the old sewer system, putting power lines below ground and building a public parking lot.

E-mail: astowell@desnews.com

© 2006 Deseret News Publishing Company

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