See what’s finally coming to South Salt Lake: its first ‘downtown’ building

One Burton will offer 180 apartments and 7,000 square feet of retail space as the city’s longtime vision begins to unfold.

(Architectural Nexus) Rendering of One Burton, a mixed-use development that is kick-starting South Salt Lake's plans to create a downtown district.

South Salt Lake • Buzz about South Salt Lake revitalization took a tangible step forward Tuesday with a ceremonial shovel turn on Main Street and Burton Avenue.

Construction of One Burton, a new mixed-use development near 2400 South, is now underway, and, along with other building projects, so is the prospect of creating a downtown in this city of 27,000 residents.

The eight-story complex will have 180 apartments — 50 two-bedroom, 103 one-bedroom and 27 studio units. Planned amenities include a gallery, spa and fitness facilities along with rooftop courtyards. The project, which is expected to open in 2024, also will include 7,000 square feet of retail space for restaurants or neighborhood shops.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) South Salt Lake VIPs turn over a shovel of dirt for groundbreaking of South Salt Lake's Downtown East Streetcar District, which will provide 180 multifamily housing units, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022.

South Salt Lake’s downtown has been in the works since 2016. The intention is to add more housing, commercial and nightlife, said Mayor Cherie Wood. After years of planning, pandemic-related disruptions and infrastructure issues, city officials, architects and developers staged Tuesday’s ceremony on an open parcel where a church, an apartment building and a storage facility used to sit.

“This is our first one after all of that to break ground, and we’re excited,” said Wood, highlighting how much she liked the design, which wraps around a billboard facing Interstate 80. “This is one of many coming to our downtown area.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) One Burton, the redevelopment area planned for South Salt Lake's downtown revitalization, known as the Downtown East Streetcar District, will provide 180 multifamily housing units, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022.

Despite the excitement surrounding One Burton, the building will not include the affordable units that Utah so desperately needs to ease a housing crisis.

City officials had been working with these developers before the housing crunch deepened, Wood said, so they did not address the affordability element for this building. But the mayor expects future developments to include affordable units.

What it will look like

One Burton will boast midcentury modern architecture that fits with the neighborhood, said Doug Thimm, an architect at Architectural Nexus, the Salt Lake City firm designing the building. “The idea was to bring something in that could be a piece of architecture that became part of the greater whole.”

Thimm is confident that this development will help execute the city’s vision for its downtown. The building, including its commercial space, is expected to draw people from across Salt Lake County.

“I’ve been talking on and off with the city for over 20 years,” Thimm said, “and to see something finally happening here is really exciting for us.”

(Architectural Nexus) Rendering of One Burton, a mixed-use development that is kick-starting South Salt Lake's plans to create a downtown district.

For this project, Architectural Nexus is working alongside Abstract Development Group, an affiliate of a New York-based real estate firm, and Jacobsen Construction Co.

More changes coming to South Salt Lake

Developers are planning another 12 projects in the area in the near future.

“You’re going to see change as you’re already seeing in South Salt Lake right now,” said Gary Ellis, Jacobsen’s president and CEO. “...This is a true sign that we’re providing an area for people to come and live in South Salt Lake and really revitalize the area.”

South Salt Lake’s downtown expects to offer grocery stores, public spaces and access to public transportation.

“We’ve always struggled from people not knowing that we’re a city. If we built a downtown, those types of developments would last 50-plus years,” Wood said, “and so that would really be something we can hang our hat on as a community.”