The battle for the Utah Theater will burn this week. How did we get here?

The battle for the future of the historic Utah Theater will be in the public limelight this week. Controversial deals between urban and private developers are likely to bring sparkling new skyscrapers to downtown Salt Lake City’s main streets.

Wednesday’s planning committee meeting hopes to save the theater to city officials who long thought the building was very devastated by global real estate developer Hines two years ago. There is a possibility of pitting a person.

Developers are seeking exceptions to the height restrictions in the D-1 zone, which hinder the construction of mid-block buildings over 100 feet high.

The Commission must determine the quality of the 392-foot proposal, which is also conditioned by the City Redevelopment Agency, the owner of the theater.

Public protests against the loss of the historic theater are significant, with attempts to accuse corruption of transferring the theater to developers and take steps to mark the site on the November ballot. The attempt was included.

It’s unlikely that there will be a big wave at the planning committee meeting on July 14, but opponents may bring their boards in anticipation of surfing. The nature of public rigor from the developers-due to their required height increase and entrance retreat-is determined.

Background of the proposal

A 31-story, 392-foot tower located in a prominent gap in the downtown skyline SLC new skyscraper wave It will be one of the tallest buildings in the city. The project adds 400 new apartments in the heart of downtown and 40 is listed as “affordable” with 60% -80% AMI. In addition, it creates a new outdoor park space that is generally accessible but managed and maintained by the developer, and an intermediate block pass for pedestrians.

These features may sound appealing to urbanists under normal circumstances, especially during the current housing shortage, but because the planning committee requires the dismantling of the theater 100 years ago. You may face a wave of strong opposition to the project.

The Vaudeville-era theater, formerly known as the Pantages Theater, hidden from the main street in the middle of one of SLC’s huge blocks and adjacent to the Capitol theater, has been in use for nearly 30 years. not.

The auditorium was significantly changed in the 1960s and was used as a two-screen cinema before it closed in 1988 because the stage and loading area were too small for Broadway.

After purchasing the building in 2009 to support the final refurbishment, the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency (RDA) finally concluded that such a project would be too costly.

The $ 60-80 million figures for seismic retrofitting and restoration, including the massive reconstruction of the auditorium itself, were quoted by the city but controversial by activists.

RDA rigor on behalf of the public

Eventually, the city’s Redevelopment Agency began negotiations with developers Hines and LaSalle and signed an agreement in December 2019 to transfer theater assets to them for a total of $ 0 under four conditions: Did.

  1. Mid block sidewalk – The project must include a sidewalk in the center of the block that extends from the main street to the inside of the block, is privately managed and publicly accessible.
  2. Open space element – The project must include park elements that are privately owned and maintained but publicly accessible.
  3. Affordable housing – 10% (10%) of housing units under development should be affordable and available to people with AMIs between 60% and 80%.
  4. Historical diversion – The project must include the reproduction and incorporation of historic theater elements.
Dwell Design Studio + Hines latest rendering mid-block walkway..

The first three of these requirements are addressed directly in the design review package that is the subject of the design review meeting at the planning committee.

As part of an effort to meet the fourth requirement, the Utah Theater in its current state was extensively documented and an internal 3D virtual reconstruction was generated.Result is Host online According to the University of Utah’s Marriott Library. According to Hines, certain internal features of the theater, such as Tiffany’s skylights, are preserved and reused.

Developer suggestions (and hype)

Dwell Design Studio, an Atlanta-based group that recently opened an SLC office, described the project on its website in September 2020 (it was subsequently removed).

“Oh, Salt Lake City … beautiful mountains, the Winter Olympics, funky counterculture, a little-known city when Bill Paxton said” Game Overman! ” With an alien, say “Game on!” And with a big love … Well, get ready to add another beauty to your baby on the list! Dwell’s design on Hines’ main street skyscraper is a glittering gem that enhances Salt Lake City’s architectural status on national radar.

In some sort of astounding way, Dwell’s design team strategically blended the lower half of the tower into the context of the surrounding architecture, and then made the upper half of the tower sophisticated, elegant and modern. … in the meantime created a well-structured and iconic building design.

SLC loves it !! “

The proposal includes a multi-storey car park with 262 stalls accessible to vehicles and pedestrians from 100 south and west temples. The city requires 0.5 parking spaces per unit in this zone, of which a total of 262 spaces will allow residents to use 202 spaces, 60 of which will be allocated to the adjacent Carnesville.

Future echo 200 South and State Astra TowerThe exterior of the tower features multiple façade materials designed to remind us of other important downtown architecture, such as the adjacent Carnesville.

The ground floor plan shows 8,400 square feet of retail space facing the main street, double-height windows, rental offices, and a large bike store space. “Sky Lounge” divided into 21NS And 22NS The floors are intended to provide unprecedented outdoor views of downtown center and the mountains beyond.

This space, the pool amenity space adjacent to the park, the gym, and the coworking space on the second floor are superficially reserved for tower residents.

The latest elevation rendering of the Dwell Design Studio + Hines 150S main tower. Image courtesy of Dwell Design

In addition to 40 affordable units, the tower reports that the tower incorporates 75 studios, 176 1 bedrooms, 104 2 bedrooms, 5 penthouse units at market prices, per acre. The total density of is 332.5 units.

Gallivan and City Center TRAX stations are both within 700 feet north and south of the property.

Pantages Park is a new .52 acre green space that is privately owned and open to the public, built above a parking lot and accessible from the main street via a beautiful sidewalk.

A recently revised plan shows that the main street can be reached by elevator from the northwest corner of the park, from the tower itself. Signs visible from the main street invite pedestrians to the new park.

The developers have agreed to pay a $ 2.5 million park and an estimated $ 69,000 maintenance fee.

Battle of Pantage

After the announcement of the contract with Hines in 2019, a group dedicated to the preservation and renovation of the Utah Theater was born. “EffortsSave the Utah Pantage TheaterHas increased in the past few months, with activists first offering to buy real estate for $ 500,000 and then accusing RDA of corruption.

A petition to add a voting bill in the March, November 2021 elections officially classified the Utah Theater and the nearby Capitol Theater as historic buildings, but in the required number by the city’s deadline. The signature could not be reached. April 15th.

The city did not confirm the legality of the petition until April 5, claiming that the petitioner gave only a limited period of time to obtain the required 8,048 signatures. After the city rejected the second petition because it was “identical or substantially similar” to the previous petition, activists filed a proceeding in dispute, claiming that these requirements were complex and arbitrary. Woke up.

In June, a theater supporter moved to the front door of the theater and launched a hunger strike to draw attention to the imminent destruction. He eventually unraveled himself later that day, but frequently returned to post a leaflet on the door requesting the resignation and investigation of certain RDA members and Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

The city has been largely silent in return, and the RDA issued a brief statement at its June meeting, stating that the proceedings in dispute limit public statements on the matter.

Amanda Greenland of the RDA said: “Cost and the opportunity to meet the needs of multiple communities are the reasons why the sale of the theater was negotiated. With this development, more housing units, more affordable housing units, and in the heart of downtown It brings other public interests, including publicly accessible green spaces. “

She also led us to a park space discussion at the RDA Board meeting in March. The record can be found. here..

Save the Utah Pantages Theater claims to be backed by architects, designers, lawyers and Conservation Utah.

Group has Unique vision It turned the Utah Theater into a “magnificent cinema” and presented its own ideas and renderings in a recent article. They argue that this better meets the statement of the SLC Downtown Plan adopted in 2016, and states that the city “reuses the Utah Theater as a producer of cultural institutions and activities.”

In response, the city regarded the statement as an “ambitious vision or initiative,” and “after investigation and analysis by the RDA and the government, it was determined that the theater could not be restored due to deterioration and upgrades. “. It will be needed for the structure. “

The city also takes the position that the reuse of historical elements of the theater fits into the use of the word “reuse”, with sidewalks and parks in the middle blocks, and the proliferation of new residents themselves becoming the creators of the activity. I am.

150 S.Main official design review packet. It can be accessed from the SLC Planning Department website.Shows many public comments in favor of theater preservation and some in favor of redevelopment.

July 14th for Utah Pantage Theater SupportersNS The design review meeting represents an opportunity to express their concerns and stop public approval of the project. However, the meeting is only officially relevant to the requested exceptions to the proposed building height code and the increased (10 ft) setback request for entrances at the street level.

With conditional recommendations from the planning staff at hand, it is unlikely that the committee will prevent the project from proceeding at this meeting. Even so, the applicant can resubmit another design proposal or simply build a structure up to 100 feet high to the right.

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Update: This story has been updated to accurately reflect the groups that support efforts to protect the Utah Theater.

The battle for the Utah Theater will burn this week. How did we get here?

Source link The battle for the Utah Theater will burn this week. How did we get here?

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