There are so many cranes in the air along the Wasatch Front erecting high rise-apartments and office towers, I can barely keep track of it—can you? Oddly, there's still a lot of vacancy signs on standing apartment projects. You'd think people were running from the state in droves, but rather, they are moving here by the thousands. We also know many businesses have their employees working at home and, thus, there's a reduced need for office space, but what's behind the apartment vacancies? Simple: Folks can't afford to rent and are moving back in with their families. They've lost their jobs, been furloughed or are in flux.
But there's some good news on the housing front in this hellish 2020!
First, an all-women team is building a home from the ground up in Utah County's Wander community. This is likely a first in Utah, at least in modern times, and we'll be able to see the final result at next year's Parade of Homes. Called The House that She Built, the 3,200-square-foot home features two stories and a basement with a kid's treehouse and jungle gym. By the time it's ready to occupy, almost 200 female volunteers will have had their hands on some part of the construction. It's the brainchild of general contractor Stephanie Sharpe, the Utah Chapter of Professional Women in Building, the Utah Home Builders Association and Oakwood Homes.
Second, a big standing ovation to our Latinx brothers and sisters at Centro Civico Mexicano. The community center located behind the Gateway in the Depot District is taking reservations for a new senior housing (62+ and older) apartment project with studio, one- and two-bedroom units. The last thing most builders want to build is senior housing, although the need is extreme—as Salt Lake County has a waiting list for its aging projects. Casa Milagros (not to be confused with the new Milagro apartments at 241 W. 200 South that lease from $1,000-$2,500) came together to address the needs in the local Hispanic community. It's an affordable option for seniors, with rents ranging from $655 to $942 per month.
Centro Civico Mexicano, the mothership behind the new project, was founded in the 1930s by Mexican immigrants as a place to meet, dance and celebrate holidays like Cinco De Mayo. The housing project is the first of a two-part plan to upgrade the current community center and provide housing to Hispanic seniors. It's similar to Calvary Tower, a senior project built by the Calvary Baptist Church at 516 E. 700 South, which offers very affordable housing options—often to renters getting HUD subsidies.
Oh, and while it's not housing news, the fall conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new temple in Utah to be built in Lindon. It will be the church's 25th temple in Utah—one of seven in Utah County alone.