The Dirt | Urban Living
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The Dirt

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Dirt is flying along the Wasatch Front.

Ogden's Courtyard Inn motel on 25th Street has been torn down as part of the city's plans for an expanded arts district from 24th to 26th streets and between Grant and Madison avenues. City planners hope to see a plaza and amphitheater there that will complement the existing event spaces east of Ogden's original train station and adjacent light-rail hub.

Salt Lake City, meanwhile, has two major projects underway. Ground was just broken for the Paper Box Lofts, which will squeeze into a narrow lot from 300 to 400 West just north of 200 South, behind the Westgate and Dakota lofts. Condo owners in those buildings have opined that their views of the Wasatch will be ruined by the tall buildings—which include Salt Lake's first auto-stacking parking garage. The developers are working with Salt Lake City to ensure the development includes 36 apartments for residents who make 60 percent of the area median income ($32,000 for an individual). There are also plans for an open plaza and walkways through the block so pedestrians can get from 300 West to The Gateway. Current property owners in the neighborhood aren't entirely sold on more open space so close to the downtown homeless shelters. ClearWater Homes, which finished the Broadway Park Lofts facing Pioneer Park after the Ken Milo project went bankrupt and built the Paragon Station luxury condos in the same district, is partnering with PEG Development on the Paper Box Lofts project. PEG was the developer for the Marriot Courtyard and the Hyatt House that opened recently near Vivint Smart Home Arena. They also built the Milagro Apartments across the street from the downtown post office.

Just up the street at 400 South and 300 East next to the Main Library is a massive project called The Exchange—a mix of retail, office and housing space where Salt Lake Roasting Co. first opened years ago. Back then, I remember folks predicting a coffee shop would never make it here. The estimated cost of this development is $110 million. It's a big one!

Finally, at the south end of the Wasatch Front, you can watch the dirt fly in Provo ... but it's flying off the Seven Peaks Waterpark. The 17-acre attraction with a 500,000 gallon wave pool closed last year due to financial troubles. The new operator, Global Management Amusement Professionals, which operates Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas and several other amusement parks around the country, plans to have the park up and running by Memorial Day. They know what they are doing when it comes to fun, which means Utah County residents are guaranteed a wild and wet summer.