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Development in Salt Lake isn’t slowing down despite pandemic

Posted at 5:18 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 20:50:36-04

SALT LAKE CITY — When it comes to development in Salt Lake City, planning director Nick Norris said things are not slowing down. Development is mostly consistent with the city’s multi-year average, he said. Of course, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lot of uncertainty, Norris said.

“I think by mid-April we realized we were not going to see much of a slowdown,” he said.

When COVID-19 first began having an impact on the Beehive State, several large projects were put on hold, said Emir Tursic, a senior project architect and principal with HKS.

“A few weeks into it we started to see some of these projects come back and we have also seen some projects start,” he said.

Despite some logistical issues and hurdles that must be addressed, new projects continue to be coming to the Salt Lake area, Tursic said.

“I think people still have high confidence in our market and they believe we are going to pick up right where we left off,” he said.

A new social club catering to young professionals, Edison House, is one of the many new projects moving forward during the pandemic in Downtown Salt Lake City.

It’s scary with so much uncertainty but we’re confident in the project, Edison House co-founder Charlie Cardon said.

“We are bullish on Salt Lake. We are obviously optimistic that there is going to be a vaccine so we might, just out of pure luck, hit it right when it comes to timing,” he said.

There haven’t been any major issues from a constructability perspective, according to fellow Edison House co-founder George Cardon-Bystry.

“As far as our actual business is concerned, because we are a social club, part of what we would like to do is start building that community of people who will be in our club pretty early on,” Cardon-Bystry said.

The pandemic has made creating that community early on more challenging, so Cardon-Bystry said they have to be more thoughtful and strategic in the ways they can do that.

The new social club is slated to open in late summer or fall 2021.

“I think there is a need in Salt Lake for a space where young professionals can come together and really connect,” Cardon-Bystry said.

There was a lot of uncertainty about how COVID-19 would impact the development world, Norris said, but with the way it looks right now it shows how stable Salt Lake’s economy is.

“We were concerned that we would start seeing outbreaks at construction sites or in the supply chain that may disrupt the ability to build things, but we just haven’t seen that,” he said.

There is still concern for what the future could bring — not just here in Utah, but other states' COVID-19 battles could impact development here as well, Norris said.

“If we continue to have big outbreaks, we will start to see more of an economic slowdown and that will translate down to the development world,” he said.

For more information on the Edison House, click here.