Central 9th Grows in Popularity
The Central 9th neighborhood began as a spin-off of a much larger district, a hamlet, whose urban zoning and transport links gave it a distinctive feel within its boundaries.
The area closest to the district center has long attracted the attention of property developers who have started or are just doing it, the “main street” of the district with a broad mix of uses such as a youth center for digital media art, architecture offices, restaurants, bars and a new one Cider.
A list of proposed new housing projects shows the growing popularity of the area with both developers and residents.
With so many changes in the built area, including major transportation projects, subzoning requests, listings promoting proximity to the area, and a building boom, we thought it would be a good time to spotlight what was Central 9th Could change in the years to come.
What began as the “West Temple Gateway” of the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency has created the unique identity of the Central 9th district. Urban zoning, urban incentives, and good transport links have helped the neighborhood develop its own identity and have been thriving lately. Image courtesy of SLC RDA.
What, where and why is Central 9th?
Central 9th is a carve-out area of Ballpark (formerly known as Peoples’ Freeway). It can be described as a type of urban village, with an epicenter at 200 West 900 South and borders extending from 600 South to about 1000 South, Main Street to 300 West.
The neighborhood differs in part through the zoning, which enables a density that can be walked on from the right, whereby two types of zoning in the core allow either a high density or a medium infill density.
The streets of Washington and Jefferson have older, often Victorian single-family or semi-detached houses, and are classified as Shape-Based Urban Neighborhood 1 (FBUN1), which allows these lots to be populated. Property developers and homeowners have already started building fourplexes and more on these streets.
The streets lining the core of the neighborhood are FBUN2, which allows for a mix of uses in four or five story buildings that do not require minimal front setback.
The neighborhood benefits from the east-west bus line 900 South with 15-minute intervals and the light rail, which offers several lines 15-minute intervals across the valley. The city is building a multi-purpose path that will connect eastern and western parts of the city by bike.
Central 9th is bounded by an oversized exit that creates an undeniable physical barrier separating the core of the neighborhood from its southernmost limit. It also ensures that acres of valuable land remain undeveloped.
As for the developable land, the builders are already in the process of filling in what is known as Central 9th Main Street.
The core of the Central 9th district, framed by new buildings made possible by FBUN2 zoning. The municipal utilities are working on creating a reusable path on the right, power lines are being laid underground and new buildings already under construction will frame the street at 200 W. 900 p. Photo by Taylor Anderson.
Filalong the central 9th ’Main Street’
At the eastern end of the main street of Central 9th, there was an abandoned natural gas filling station for years. Plans came and went – even a building permit was granted – but nothing came of it. We now have a glimpse of what the village center could be like in 2022.
A mixed-use row house development with 110 W. 900 S. was planned on the property. Instead, the property will be acquired by CW Urban. The group, a sponsor of Building Salt Lake, specializes in fast-build townhouse developments but recently ventured into town planning with projects in downtown and elsewhere in Central 9th.
CW has also just closed the former Henrie’s Cleaners at 906 S. 200 W., the location of one of two projects that will fill the center of the neighborhood. It is one of two mixed-use buildings known as Sydney and Slate that will have the largest floor space in the neighborhood.
Sydney and Slate will flank and activate an alley between 200 West and Washington Streets. They promise to expand the retail and catering space that is already strong in the village. The new houses above will continue to add energy and life to the streets below.
The female-run Maven District expanded its portfolio at 945 S. 300 W. framing the western border of Central 9th. It also offers space for new residents as well as office and restaurant space.
Construction workers are working on a nine-unit home at 120 W. 900 S. and construction continues on several new buildings in Washington, south of 900 South.
All of this is spurring construction in the area, along with a major road redevelopment project that will move power lines underground and connect the east and west sides of the capital via a multipurpose path called the 9 Line.
The activity will fill and visually frame Central 9th ’Main Street’, and its newfound popularity has helped draw attention to the edge of the neighborhood.
Goltz Avenue and Jefferson Street, just outside the boundaries of Central 9th. The C9 Flats which have been converted to RMU to enable the six story apartment building on the right. A mix of single family, duplex and quadruple buildings on the left. A developer is hoping to repurpose several properties in the RMF-35 area to FBUN2, which would allow more flexibility and effectively expand the central 9th footprint to the south. Photo by Taylor Anderson.
Towards the south? Goltz Avenue / Jefferson umzone
Prior to the end of the year, TAG SLC, another Building Salt Lake sponsor, applied for a reallocation of four properties near Jefferson Park, south of Central 9th.
The questions? Expand Form-Based Urban Neighborhood 2’s footprint south.
The developer has not submitted any specific plans for the duplex and single family homes, which will ultimately likely be demolished and replaced with any number of backfill developments allowed in FBUN2 zones (likely townhouses or apartments).
Instead, the proximity between the TRAX stations 1300 South and 900 South as well as the bus line 900 South and the increasing accessibility of the area were emphasized.
According to the WalkScore website, the area is considered very pedestrian and bike-friendly with good transport links.
“The proposed perimeter zones will allow a significant number of units to be created without affecting the neighborhood more than these pre-existing projects,” wrote TAG SLC, referring to the adjoining six-story C9 lofts that have been built in recent years.
Much of the neighborhood south of the exit is RMF-35, which allows developers with enough land to meet zone requirements to demolish existing homes and build apartment buildings.
But the area is struggling with perceived crime issues, and developers are hailing the increasing eyes and feet on the street as a potential asset to rooting out criminal activity. TAG SLC was no different.
“The additional surveillance offered by the possible projects within the perimeter will have a positive impact on the neighborhood by enhancing the nearby park and creating the density required to make local transport and commercial facilities more appropriate support.”
If the planning commission and city council approve the new zone application, TAG SLC could build anything from cottage developments, terraced houses, apartment buildings, mixed uses or shop fronts, depending on the specifics of each parcel.
An industrial warehouse is for sale on over an acre of land at 46 W. Fayette Ave., near the east end of Central 9th. It is being marketed to developers who might be interested in taking advantage of the adjacent downtown zones that would allow for a building up to 120 feet tall. Photo by Taylor Anderson.
A tower in Central 9th?
Mark this as a long distance runner, but this lot on the east end of the neighborhood is being marketed to developers who may want to take advantage of the zoning adjacent to downtown and increase the elevation just steps from Central 9th.
The existing property is on one hectare of land in the southernmost section of the D-2 zoning, so the building has no setbacks and can expand in height.
“The desirable D-2 zoning allows for a building height of 65 feet from the right and up to 120 feet with design review – a rarity in Granary,” the listing pertains to the nearby Granary District.
Much of the Granary District is still divided into auto-oriented General Commercial (CG) zones, which have large minimum lot sizes, high parking requirements, and yard setbacks, and are limited to no more than 90 feet after design review.
Central 9th, on the other hand, is a mixture of urban zoning with minimal setbacks and parking requirements. One hectare of land, which is being replaced by industrial warehouse use, with a front garden being renovated with area parking spaces, would expand the neighborhood to the east.
The property could also simply be adapted to a new use or remain the same.
However, it is hard to deny that while the I-15 exit remains, connecting the neighborhood’s eastern development with those in the core can be difficult.
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