Thursday, February 3, 2022 / by Wendi Gladwin
Have you heard? Something BIG is coming! The Astra Tower, slated to be the tallest building in Salt Lake City (and Utah for that matter), is about to offer some astronomically swanky digs for downtowners. The estimated 450-foot skyscraper, which will offer 372 “luxury” apartments, will be located directly west of the Maverik building on 200 South and State Street, where the old Carl's Jr. used to stand. Crews broke ground (with gold shovels of course) on January 12, 2022 to bring us one of Salt Lake City’s most fabulous and forward-thinking buildings. With the project set to be completed in fall of 2024, Astra Tower will stand nearly 450 feet tall; 28 feet taller than the Wells Fargo Center on Main Street, which currently holds the title for the tallest building in Utah at 422 feet (followed closely by the Church Office Building for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a mere 2 feet shy of that – standing at 420 feet tall). Astra Tower will consist of 40 stories of studio, one, and two-bedroom options. Additionally, two levels will consist of “exclusive penthouse units”, and five guest suites according to the developer, Kensington Investment Company.
Dee Brewer, Executive Vice President of the Salt Lake Chamber and Executive Director of the Downtown Alliance said, “Salt Lake City is in ascension – economically, socially, statistically. We are experiencing unprecedented growth. Astra Tower is a remarkable illustration of our city’s ascension”. Ed Lewis, CEO of Kensington Investment Co. believes that Utah’s capital is turning into a “world-class city", and the new skyscraper will add to a community “literally on the rise”. He said “I believe Astra Tower will be the future of apartment living in Utah. Once delivered in 2024, Astra Tower will offer best-in-class apartments for a city fast attracting people from around the globe.”
What does best-in-class look like? Kensington and Jacobsen Construction Company (the builder on the project) said they will seek the LEED Gold Certification and address environmental issues specific to northern Utah, such as air quality and WELL Building Standard concepts, which seek to reduce negative impacts on the environment including optimizing water conservation. David Malone, Managing Editor at Building Design + Construction paints a picture of the aesthetics the architectural designer over the project, HKS, brings to the table. “Astra Tower residents will have views of the Salt Lake Valley and Wasatch Front as the south and southeast facades will be clad with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. The rest of the facade will be a variation of glass fiber-reinforced concrete cladding with deeply recessed windows that create a residential character.”
In addition to 372 apartment units, 685,000 sq. feet of building area will include parking levels and ground floor retail space on the lower levels topped with apartment units and a plethora of amenities above. The eighth floor will offer a state-of-the-art fitness center and fitness studio, an urban park, a clubhouse with a chef’s kitchen, and a work lounge with conference rooms. The 22nd floor spares no amount of luxury -- complete with a swimming pool and jacuzzi, a spa with saunas, a plunge pool, and treatment rooms. Finally, the tower will be topped with an “open rooftop expression that activates the skyline”, according to Malone. It will be a “residents-only” rooftop terrace offering a big-screen TV, grill, and social areas that can accommodate a range of group sizes, from small to large.
In the grand scheme of things, Astra Tower will offer much more to Salt Lake City than a beautiful, sustainable, and functional structure to our sky-line. Along with several other structures being erected, (including the 259-foot Liberty Sky apartments, and a 140-foot building called 255 South State that’s said to add another 190 apartment units), “projects coming along downtown — are helping chip away at the city's housing shortage, and it is doing so in a sustainable way” adds Ana Valdemoros, Salt Lake City Councilmember. “Density and building vertically are inevitably what we're facing in our city."
As I’m sure you’ve heard (or maybe you haven’t), Utah, being named number one for its economy and the fastest growing state in the US, is facing a major housing shortage. Salt Lake City alone has a current housing shortage of 18,000 units. The economic growth, low taxes, ample job opportunity (provided largely by the Silicon Slopes), and education quality have made it a desirable place to live. To accommodate the growing interest and population in Salt Lake City (and Utah in general), we must add housing, FAST. In short, every building that increases housing is critical.
The University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute projects a 50% increase in the county’s population over the next few decades - adding nearly 600,000 people. While I have no crystal ball, I can agree with Kensington and Valdemoros – it seems inevitable that building “up” is going to be a trend for the future in a city that has long since run out of buildable land.
So, if you're looking to move "up" (yep, we said it), keep your eye out for these to come available from the property management. While we're told these units won't be for sale, they sure would make for great living!
If you're looking for upcoming developments to buy, drop us a line at 801-893-1088 or email@example.com.