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High-end apartments replace ‘Little Chicago’
by BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Feb 08, 2013 | 1346 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WORK CONTINUES on the development south of 1875 South and east of 500 West in Bountiful despite cold, snow and inversions.          Photo by Louise R. Shaw | Davis Clipper
WORK CONTINUES on the development south of 1875 South and east of 500 West in Bountiful despite cold, snow and inversions. Photo by Louise R. Shaw | Davis Clipper
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WOODS CROSS – The footings are poured, the foundations laid and framing should begin within the next couple of weeks for a 106-unit apartment complex on a piece of land once known disparagingly as “Little Chicago.”

The complex at 440 West and 1875 South will be much different from the low-income housing that occupied the site until 2009, when the Woods Cross Redevelopment Agency (RDA) bought the land and tore down the existing buildings.

The units planned for the complex will be one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury apartments in five buildings, said developer Jed Millburn. Apartments will feature high ceilings and Roman-style soaking tubs. The complex will also have a swimming pool, clubhouse, playground and fitness center, Millburn said. Rents will range from approximately $900 to $1,400 monthly.

The buildings were designed to meld well with the Renaissance Towne Center to the east of the apartments in Bountiful. The complex will be named the Hills at Renaissance.

The project has been slow in coming to fruition. Woods Cross City Manager Gary Uresk said the city has been in negotiations with Millburn since 2009. Things began moving on the project once the homebuilding industry began picking up.

The city’s RDA began working with the Davis Community Housing Authority in 2005, and initially planned on putting in new low-income units.

As plans progressed, a majority of the city council had reservations about replacing low-income apartments with more low-income apartments, Uresk said, and the low-income housing idea was scrapped. Millburn initially approached the council with plans for a smaller complex. Councilmembers wanted more.

A deal was struck that gave Millburn part of the tax-increment funding for the project, “but the main thing was we gave him a good price on the land,” Uresk said.

“We had nothing against low-income housing,” Uresk said. “Something that really stood out was that we spent all this money improving the area (by tearing out old, dilapidated buildings) and we wanted something that would stand out,” Uresk said. “The decision was not a unanimous one.”

The city has tried to incorporate a mixture of housing to encourage a diversity of residents in the city, Uresk said. The city’s RDA was involved in building the Woods Cross Town Center, a mixed-use development on 1500 South, just below 800 West. The western portion of the city has higher-end housing, and apartments are located on the eastern end.

The site was attractive to Millburn. Built on a triangle, the complex will have good visibility from the east and west for motorists, he said.

Millburn specializes in multi-family units and he believes they have been neglected in south Davis County.

“For one thing, it’s hard to find high-density land, and some cities are not excited about accommodating it,” he said. This project will help fill that void, he said.

The site is also convenient to downtown Salt Lake City and to mass transit. It should be completed by the end of this year.

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