Post District is Salt Lake City’s newest “neighborhood” with 580 houses
Salt Lake City saw the opening of an entire high-end neighborhood in one fell swoop on Wednesday, with a new $144 million project featuring 580 apartments, luxurious amenities and appealing public spaces and sidewalks on the western edge of downtown.
Spanning nearly an entire city block between 500 South and 600 South from 300 West to 400 West, the Post District, with nearly a dozen residential and commercial buildings, is among the largest mixed-use projects to emerge in a record-breaking spate of construction projects in the central business district of the city.
The name is an indirect reference to the site’s former use as a Salt Lake Tribune newspaper distribution facility. The ambitious redevelopment of 13.1 contiguous acres – during the COVID-19 pandemic – has now replaced or refurbished and repurposed several parts of what was for decades an unsightly expanse of crumbling concrete and abandoned industrial buildings that motorists en route to and from to Interstate 15 was familiar.
“It’s not often that you can build an entire neighborhood, and that’s what Post District is,” said Nick Gonzalves, director at Bridge Investment Group, a major project financier. “It’s a real live work-play space.”
Scores of people gathered on the top floor of The Register – considered the precinct’s “highest” offering – on Wednesday night for a celebration followed by a ribbon cutting.
The Post District’s four mid-rise residential buildings — The Register, 801 Flats, Post House North, and Post House South — are located on the east side of the block and feature different styles and combinations of units. They will be renting a variety of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and townhouses at market rents, starting at about $1,400 a month for studios in 801 Flats, a property manager said, and going up to $4,200 a month. Dollars for three bedroom townhouses.
Elevated skyways connect the buildings. Amenities available to all residents include a 7,000-square-foot fitness center, club room, resort-style rooftop decks and swimming pool, as well as a movie theater, dog wash and marketplace.
Restaurants, offices and new headquarters for Traeger Grills
One block south of Pioneer Park, the district is also traversed by two mid-block streets – Gale and Bly – which the developers have transformed into a series of spacious public pathways connecting well-appointed courtyards, plazas and street-level dining areas.
The western half of the block is dedicated to office and retail space, including a coworking lounge. A completely remodeled version of Newspaper Agency Corp’s curved former warehouse. The site will soon become the headquarters of Utah-based Traeger Grills — creating more than 500 jobs, according to Gonzalves.
The renovated A&Z Produce building is north across 500 South from the Post District but is part of the project and serves as a vintage coworking space.
There will be at least three restaurants in the Post District: Urban Hill, operated by Park City owners Hearth and Hill and Hill’s Kitchen; an all-day brunch “oasis” called Sunday’s Best; and Mensho Ramen, part of a chain started by Japanese ramen master Tomoharu Shono — along with new outlets for South Salt Lake-based Level Crossing Brewery and Sugar House-based Urban Sailor Coffee.
Alex Lowe, chief executive of Salt Lake City-based Lowe Property Group, another of the Post District’s key partners, noted that the project had received its principal loan from Wells Fargo just weeks after the pandemic hit. He thanked the bank for remaining a steadfast lender when others pulled out.
“It was at the heart of COVID and we didn’t know what was going to happen in the world,” said Lowe, standing next to his brother Ben, also company boss and project partner. “Wells Fargo has never hesitated. … Without them this project will not take place.”
How to “change a neighborhood” – all at once
In addition to promising to bring more vibrancy and attraction to this corner of the city and to attract a growing population downtown, the Post District greatly improves the look of two major thoroughfare corridors in and out of Utah’s capital, long envisioned by planners as grand boulevards .
Up until the Post District, “that entry point to our city lay dormant, empty, derelict, and truly overlooked and forgotten,” said Brandon Blaser, founder and president of BCG Holdings, another development partner.
Blaser praised Jonathan Slager, CEO of Bridge Investment Group, for his vision of making Post District one big overall project, rather than building it in smaller increments: “He said, ‘No, if you want to change a neighborhood, you have to change everything – and let’s go!’”
Q Factor, the developer of INDUSTRY SLC, a coworking space converted from an old iron foundry in the city’s Granary District, is a partner in the adaptive repurposing of the A&Z Building and two retail and restaurant facilities in the Post District known as The Barrel and billboard building.
Salt Lake City-based Big-D Construction was the primary contractor for the Post District, with much of the architectural design being carried out by Los Angeles-based MVE Architects.
The Post District is also, according to Gonzalves, “a true example of what the federal Opportunity Zone program — created under President Donald Trump to provide significant tax incentives to patient investors in designated lower-income areas — “is intended to do.”
“It’s about giving development projects in places that needed some love a chance to create housing and jobs,” he said. “And that’s what this project did.”