From The Salt Lake Tribune:
Residents in Salt Lake City’s Ballpark community were celebrating Thursday after a row of three blighted houses that neighbors say had become magnets for criminal activity were finally razed.
It was a hard-won victory but a triumph nevertheless in an area that has a disproportionately high number of boarded and vacant buildings but has had a hard time addressing them thanks to a city ordinance that prioritizes preserving such structures.
Ballpark Community Council Chairwoman Amy Hawkins, who watched as the claw began tearing down the buildings, said it was “wonderful” to see an “actual, physical change happening” in the neighborhood.
The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City, which has owned these houses on West Temple near 1300 South since 2017, has long wanted to send in the bulldozers.
But the agency, which owns dozens of properties around the city, struggled to obtain financing for the 55-unit apartment complex envisioned for the site. Without a viable development plan, city code prevented their demolition.
Thursday’s demolition was the first step for the four-story apartment complex, which is expected to be completed in April 2021 and will have a mix of affordable and market-rate units marketed primarily to seniors and members of the workforce. The Housing Authority is also planning a partnership with the Utah Pride Center in an effort to attract members of the LGBTQ population, who Nackerman said have faced challenges finding housing in the past.
“We’re going to work hand in hand with them to kind of affirmatively market to the LGBTQ+ community just because we know it’s a discriminatory issue that we can probably help solve,” he said.
Read The Salt Lake Tribune's article "Demolition begins on derelict buildings in Ballpark neighborhood slated to become a 55-unit apartment community," featuring the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City.