Union Pacific Hotel on track for construction after years of delays
The developers are still planning to add a hotel to the rear of the historic Union Pacific Downtown building, although the Planning Commission has given them another year to determine the funding that delayed the project at the north end of the Gateway Mall. .
As the Athens group has started crowdfunding its major redevelopment of the historic building into a 225-room luxury hotel, it says it is still on track to open the hotel in 2024.
The planning committee had no discussion when approving the second delay on Wednesday evening, which the developers said was linked to difficulty securing funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff noted that builders have permits pending and construction is expected to begin next year.
The deadline is required for projects which receive the approval of the Planning Commission but which do not obtain a building permit within one year of this approval.
“As you know, the Covid-19 pandemic seriously disrupted the hospitality market in 2020 and lasted until the first half of 2021”, told us Shannon Heringer, Group Development Director for Athens .
“Fortunately, market conditions and capital markets for new hotel projects are improving,” Heringer said. “As a result, we are moving forward with our construction documents with the aim of starting construction in the first half of 2022 with expected completion and the hotel opening in early 2024.”
- Adjoining eight-story building overlooking the Gateway Legacy Plaza
- Four unique, highly tactile food and beverage outlets
- 9,600 square feet of meeting space
- 13 specialized suites located in the historic train station
In recent weeks, the Salt Lakers have been targeted with paid social media ads urging them to invest in making the hotel’s conversion a reality.
“Be an investor in restoring a historic 1908 train station to a luxury Marriott Autograph hotel in Salt Lake City,” the ad reads. “This zone of opportunity, this adaptive reuse project gives investors the opportunity to invest qualified capital gains and to benefit from potentially significant tax advantages in return.”
The Athens group did not answer questions about the ads and what they mean to pay for development.
Crowdstreet’s investment page says Salt Lake City is an “underserved luxury market segment,” touts favorable tax status as an opportunity area created by the federal tax law of 2017, and cites a “sponsorship exceptional with a background in luxury hospitality “.
The hotel will be called Asher Adams and may be operated by Marriott International’s Autograph Collection.
The name may be derived from the Asher & Adams Map of the Utah Territory in 1873, one of the earliest available maps of the Territory. The developers got the mark in early 2020.
Learn more about the project
Renderings show the historic building transformed into a support hotel, with a fitness room overlooking the 400 West, several meeting rooms, a large lobby, and space for the bar and restaurants.
The historic building and the new eight-story hotel would be connected by above-ground walkways and a ground-floor courtyard between the buildings.
The new building would be curved, which the architects said would help match the layout of the existing and surrounding buildings. At 94 feet, the new building would be slightly shorter than the 99-foot Union Pacific building, hiding it from the east over South Temple.
The building would continue the ongoing revitalization efforts of the new bridge owners, who have been working to add offices, new restaurants and bars.
It would be one of many major hotel developments to be built downtown in the years to come and in recent years. The Convention Center hotel is on track at 200 S. West Temple.
The RL hotel, meanwhile, closed in 2019 and will be transformed into small apartments from next year.
- Owner: Vestar Gateway, LLC
- Developer: Athens Hotel Development, LLC
- Architect: HKS Architects, Inc
- Civil Engineer: Grand Bassin Engineering
- Landscape architect: MGB + A The Grassli Group
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