I’ve been hinting that Sugar House is in for more construction. We certainly have seen a few more development proposals in the last couple of months. However, the demolition of more of the Granite Block has commenced.
Salt Lake City has a complicated demolition permit process. We have seen the glaring loophole in this ordinance regarding the Ute car wash remaining as an incomplete demolition on 2100 S. We are still working to gather signatures to present to the city to demonstrate the support to fix this after languishing for 20 months.
Back to the Granite Block. At this time Craig Mecham has obtained permission from the city to demolish the buildings he owns within the Granite Block. We know these buildings as housing retail such as One World Gifts, Fats and Sugar House Furniture. Those will be coming down. Boulder Ventures owns the old Leisure Living building and have already started tearing that down.
While the public and the SHCC have not been shown the plans for Mecham’s new development we can speculate that the reason he is moving to demolish these buildings right now is due to the Jordan/McClelland Canal located underground. This canal needs to be moved to make way for whatever Mecham has planned. Since this canal delivers irrigation water to users there is a short window in which he can legally move this and he would need to do so very soon.
Normally Salt Lake City requires a re-use plan be presented and approved before a demolition permit is issued unless the property owner ask for an exception. This exception allows for the quick demolition of buildings with the following stipulations. The property owner must put up a bond, do some landscaping and they have 18 months in which to file their development plan and begin work. Both Mecham and Boulder Ventures applied for this permit and exception on December 18, 2015.
At this time the SHCC has no official information on what will be replacing these buildings. Once plans are filed with the city the SHCC will begin its public outreach process to alert residents and provide accurate information and opportunities to give comments.