Work begins on the Astra Tower, soon to be the tallest skyscraper in downtown Salt Lake City

Undeterred by the resurgence of the pandemic, developers in Boston are continuing to build a new luxury residential building on State Street, which is expected to be Salt Lake City’s tallest skyscraper.

Astra Tower will rise 450 feet tall at its highest point and bring approximately 372 upscale apartments spread over 40 floors in the city’s growing downtown core, according to delighted backers from Kensington Investment Company, based in Boston, which kicked off Wednesday with a short groundbreaking ceremony.

The new tower launched at 200 S. State Street – the former site of a Carl Jr. fast food restaurant and an adjacent surface parking lot – is expected to be completed by October 2024.

(Courtesy of Kensington Investment Company, via Jacobsen Construction) A rendered view looking west along the 200 South of the Astra Tower, a new 372-unit luxury apartment complex under construction at 200 S. State Street which will be Utah’s tallest building, when completed in fall 2024.

The tower will be built to some of the highest environmental standards in the world and will join at least half a dozen new high-rise office and residential buildings under construction or under construction in the Utah capital, in the midst of ‘an unprecedented increase in development along the Wasatch front. .

We took a dream and today we turn it into reality, ”said Ed Lewis, CEO of the private company. The Astra Tower has faced “several obstacles” over the past three years – even taunts that the project was “silly or a little bit crazy,” Lewis said, “and maybe they’re right.”

“Either way, Utah is our home. We’re not going anywhere, ”Lewis told several dozen people who gathered in advance at the Gallivan Center. Salt Lake City is fast becoming a world class city, and I think the tower will be the future of apartment living in Utah.

Astra Tower was designed by HKS, a Dallas-based architectural firm with offices in Salt Lake City, looks like The Kensington, an apartment tower built by the same developer in Boston in 2013.

Salt Lake City’s latest luxury studio skyscraper, one- and two-bedroom apartments – likely to reach the city’s upper echelons with monthly rents – will be capped by two floors of exclusive penthouses, serviced by a dedicated high speed elevator.

Other top-notch Astra Tower amenities will be spread over three separate floors, according to plans approved at City Hall, and will include a rooftop swimming pool, clubhouse, park, sky lounge and a terrace with panoramic view.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A groundbreaking ceremony takes place on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 for the Astra Tower, a 372-unit luxury residential tower that will rise to 200 S. State Street in Salt Lake City. It will be Utah’s tallest building, built to the city’s new sustainability standards, and is slated to open in fall 2024.

Joined by other city and state officials, Salt Lake City Councilor Ana Valdemoros praised the company’s decision to build to what’s known as LEED Gold, a certified sustainability approach by the US Green Building Council which, among other things, carbon footprint.

Valdemoros said the skyscraper project was emblematic of the city center‘s “inevitable” new direction in town planning, towards denser housing and vertical construction. Astra, she said, put forward a long-held vision for “a walkable downtown with taller buildings and busier streets filled with new residents.”

And at its intended height, Astra is expected to overtake the Wells Fargo Center (422 feet) and the LDS Church Office Building (420 feet) as the tallest building in town. It joins the newly constructed tower called 95 State Street at City Creek, a 395-foot office building at 100 South and State State, west of the downtown Harmon grocery store.

Just two blocks away, the new 700-room Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City – the new Salt Lake County Convention Center hotel in West Temple and 200 South – reached its full height of 375 feet in November and is slated to open. its doors in the fall of 2022.

Renderings show Salt Lake City’s last skyscraper – called Kensington Tower in recent years until Wednesday’s official name change to Astra Tower – will have a sleek rectangular glass-clad exterior and a two-story lobby overlooking State Street.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A piece of cleared land is pictured in May 2021, as it prepares for the new Astra Tower, a 372-unit luxury residential tower that will rise to 200 S. State Street in Salt Lake City. A groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2021 marked the debut of Utah’s tallest building, built to the city’s new sustainability standards and is slated to open in fall 2024.

“Salt Lake City is on the rise: economically, socially, statistically,” said Dee Brewer, who heads the Downtown Alliance of the Salt Lake Chamber. He called the Astra Tower “a remarkable indication of this ascent”.

Boosters for Utah said the Astra Tower will increase the city’s ability to attract new professionals, businesses and investors to Utah.

“It tells them that we have arrived as a city,” said Stephanie Frohman, senior vice president of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “We not only have the lifestyle, the cultural and recreational opportunities that their talent seeks, but also the residential. “

Astra is also at least the sixth new skyscraper currently under construction in downtown Salt Lake City in the past three years – and one of four rising along a three-block stretch. of State Street.

Other State Street projects include the 24-story luxury apartment tower called Liberty Sky at 151 S. State Street; 95 State at City Creek, built by City Creek Reserve, a developmental arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and a two-tower residential project at 255 S. State by Chicago-based developer Brinshore, with financial support from the city’s redevelopment agency and other government agencies.

When completed, the Astra Tower will also mark a milestone in high-rise luxury living for tenants and is part of a larger apartment building boom.

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Salt Lake City’s skyline is changing rapidly, with at least six skyscrapers soaring and several large multi-story apartment and office complexes underway of construction along its main streets.

Astra’s living units are likely to compete with nearby Liberty Sky, with its 272 high-end apartments and amenities, completed this year by Boyer Co. and Cowboy Partners, both located in Utah. Liberty Sky Studios are currently priced between $ 1,499 and $ 2,199 per month.

Texas-based developer Hines is also continuing construction of a new 31-story residential skyscraper a few blocks at 150 S. Main, on the site of the historic Utah Theater, ready for demolition. This 392-foot tower – called Main Street Apartments and backed by Hines, based in Houston and the city’s GDR – will feature 400 new units including 40 more affordable, 355 at market rates and five penthouses, as well as a sky lounge, d other characteristic luxuries and an adjoining pocket park.

A development company in New York, The Domain Cos., Also announced plans for its own residential skyscraper with 342 apartments at 370 S. West Temple, two blocks east of Pioneer Park, and proposed to make 26 floors.

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