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Wanted: Design Ideas For Mixed-Income Housing Project

Julia Ritchey, KUER
SLC Mayor Jacki Biskupski announces a request for proposals for a mixed-income housing project at 320 East 400 South. She says these projects are central to their plan to reduce homelessness in the city.

Salt Lake City officials are asking for design proposals for a designated affordable housing project downtown.

The property is made up for two city-owned parcels, totaling about 2.2 acres, on the corner of 300 East and 400 South, just east of the Salt Lake City Public Library.


The city is asking potential developers for their best ideas for the infill project, requiring elements such as mixed-income housing, active retail space and a business incubator.


It will also include about 40 so-called micro-units between 250 and 400 square feet aimed at residents who make less than $20,000 a year.


Mayor Jackie Biskuspki told reporters at a press conference on Monday that she wants developers with bold ideas to help make this a reality.


“In every sense of the word, we want and understand the important roles collaboration and innovation will play in our efforts to address the affordable housing crisis in our city," she says.


Public-private developments such as this will likely be included in a forthcoming affordable housing plan the city has been hammering out for the last year, which the mayor says will be made public by the end of the month.


Developers have until April 10 to submit designs for the new infill. And construction is expected to break ground sometime the following year.


Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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