Jun 22, 2022 - News

A major real estate firm will turn South Temple Tower into housing

Photo courtesy of Hines.

International real estate firm Hines announced Friday it acquired the 217,000-square-foot South Temple Tower in downtown Salt Lake City.

  • The firm plans to convert the 24-story office building into housing.

Details: Hines' proposal features turning the South Temple Tower, built in 1966, into a 255-unit "luxury multifamily tower," according to a news release announcing the project.

  • Construction is slated to begin in early 2023.
  • The tower will include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.
  • It will also feature "high-quality" interior finishes and "expansive" amenities.

Driving the news: Salt Lake County is in the midst of an unprecedented apartment boom, according to a University of Utah Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute research brief released in March.

  • In 2021, a record-breaking 6,672 apartment units received building permits.
  • The pandemic has permanently changed the traditional white-collar work week as more companies ditch their office spaces for remote work.

What they're saying: "Aligning with the company's core values, Hines is stepping in to fill a need amongst the city’s residents, by delivering a sustainable high-rise product that will be new and highly attractive for this growing market," Dusty Harris, a local resident and senior managing director of Hines, said in a statement.

Why it matters: The increase of units could help alleviate Salt Lake City's housing-shortage crisis.

  • Of the county's estimated 148,500 rental units, about 2% of those are unoccupied, the research brief found.
  • That's the lowest vacancy rate the report has recorded in its 20-year history.

Yes, but: It's unclear whether many Salt Lake residents will be able to afford to live in the luxury units.

  • Context: In 2021, rental rates in Salt Lake County rose by more than 10%.
  • The average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Salt Lake County is now $1,190.

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