Jed Boal Reporting A new condo development in Salt Lake City is serving as a unique catalyst to help revitalize a neighborhood. These "green" townhomes help solve several community troubles.
The Rowhaus Condominiums on West Temple strike a new look for an area in transition.
Just a five-minute walk from a TRAX station and Franklin Covey Field makes the location attractive, but it did not used to be.
Dealers sold drugs out of three homes and in the park across the street. "We had received dozens of calls for help in this area, calls coming into our drug hotline, saying, ‘There are drugs going in and out of this house.' These three homes were the site of six search warrants by the police department alone, Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said.
The developer bulldozed the drug houses 15 months ago. Now new homeowners are moving in, and these three-level townhomes are energy efficient, too. "This is the kind of project that is definitely a trend-setter as people become more concerned about cost efficiencies, about doing things in an environmentally sustainable fashion," Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson said.
Blue Conservancy Developers used a different type of wall insulation; foam blocks pumped with concrete. "It's a reclaimed product, has a long lifespan. It's very quiet separation, you don't have to hear your neighbors, and provides superior energy savings for cooling and heating," explained Mark Wisniewski, builder and developer.
That savings can be up to $100 a month, and the wall is solid in an earthquake.
The homes include Energy Star appliances, tinted windows, 2,000 square feet of space and prices are starting at $300,000.
Twenty-four units are built, 18 are ready to go and nine have been sold. Who are the buyers? So far it's retirees, young professionals and a university professor.
"When people have vested interests in their neighborhoods, we have a great partnership that forms, and we can keep out the bad elements," Burbank said.
Salt Lake City Green includes environmental programs that help conserve resources, reduce pollution and combat global climate change.