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New luxury hotel in the works for Union Pacific building at Gateway

New development at Gateway
Posted at 10:55 AM, Oct 14, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City's historic Union Pacific building will soon become the site of a luxury hotel in an effort to revitalize the Gateway area downtown, according to a report by Building Salt Lake.

It's part of a plan by the Athens Group of "Autograph Hotels," a luxury arm of Marriott, to build an eight story hotel to be named the Asher Adams, a name derived from the Asher & Adams map of the Utah Territory in 1873, one of the earliest obtainable maps of the territory.

The developers obtained the trademark in early 2020.

Because of the pandemic, securing financing for the hotel has been difficult, but developers were given a delay by the Salt Lake Planning Commission to start construction, which is slated for next year.

Obtaining the delay was necessary to keeping the project on track, as building permits were not pulled within a year as normally required.

To move forward with financing, the Athens Group has begun crowd-funding for redevelopment of the historic building into the 225-room hotel, and says it is still on track to open the hotel in 2024, according to Building Salt Lake.

Included in the project is an eight-story building overlooking Gateway Legacy Plaza, four food and beverage outlets, 9,600 square feet of meeting space, and 13 specialty suites located in the historic train station.

The Union Pacific building and the new eight-story hotel would be connected by above-ground walkways and a ground-floor courtyard between the buildings.

In recent weeks, the Athens Group has run ads on social media inviting Utahns to invest in making the hotel conversion a reality.

“Be an investor in the restoration of a historic 1908 train station into a luxury Marriott Autograph hotel in Salt Lake City,” the ad reads. “This opportunity zone, adaptive reuse project gives investors the chance to invest qualified capital gains & enjoy potentially significant tax benefits in return.”

The Crowdstreet investment page says Salt Lake City is an “underserved luxury market segment,” touts the tax-friendly status as an opportunity zone created by the 2017 federal tax law, and cites an “exceptional sponsorship with luxury hospitality track record,” according to Salt Lake Building.

This project is part of ongoing revitalization efforts by the new owners of the Gateway, who have added office space, new restaurants and bars to the complex.