SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Officials broke ground Friday morning on a new built-to-rent community in Salt Lake City’s west side, continuing a new trend in the nation’s housing market.

C.W. Urban, the real estate agency behind the project, said it will be the first-of-its-kind rental community in Salt Lake City’s Power District. The development is being dubbed “theYARD,” and the C.W. Urban boasts that it will fill what’s known as “missing middle housing,” units between single-family homes and midrise apartments.

“We are gonna have just shy of 200 townhomes that people can rent, and those townhomes are going to be surrounded by a fully amenitized site,” said Darlene Carter, CEO of C.W. Urban.

A built-to-rent community is much like your standard apartment complex. However, instead of being built vertically, the community is built horizontally, offering single-family units or townhomes as opposed to apartment units.

U.S. News called built-to-rent communities a “fairly new twist on an old concept,” noting that they typically include all the amenities one would expect in an apartment complex or an HOA, such as a pool or fitness center.

Officials break ground on theYARD built-to-rent community in Salt Lake City's west side on Oct. 27, 2023.
Salt Lake City and county officials break ground on theYARD on Oct. 27, 2023.

But how much will rent at theYARD be?

According to Carter, the three-story townhomes will run somewhere between about $2,500 to $3,400 a month, depending on size. The townhomes will range from 1,300 square feet to 1,800 square feet, each with a two-car attached garage.

To buy a similar-sized townhome and pay a mortgage with the current high interest rates would cost significantly more on a monthly basis, Carter noted.

“You’re going to be able to live in that exact same type of home for thousands of dollars cheaper when you live in a rental versus when you purchase that townhome,” she said.

Located along the Jordan River, theYARD is designed to be a transit-oriented development, as it sits just two blocks south of the Fairpark TRAX station. Renters will be able to get to Salt Lake City’s bustling downtown economic district in less than 10 minutes.

Alejandro Puy, the Salt Lake City Council member who represents the area, said he is glad to see the development coming to the west side, which has traditionally been industrial. He also said he’s glad to see the developers want to showcase the Jordan River.

“I’m excited to see that this project is looking at the river,” he said. “I appreciate the fact that there’s going to be green space.”

As for the amenities, renters in theYARD will be able enjoy a clubhouse, fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, a landscaped greenway, fire pits, and riverfront amenity area, the developer said.

Inside the townhomes, there’ll be quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances.

“This a great project,” said Jenny Wilson, the mayor of Salt Lake County.

She noted that Utah — not to mention the country — is experiencing a housing crisis, and what’s needed is a variety of options that can fit various housing needs.

“This is an interesting price point,” Wilson said, describing theYARD. “I can see young people in a better position to rent before they go and take out their first mortgage … Or it could be someone elderly, who sold their home and wants to have a different option as they age.”

With construction underway on theYARD’s 157 townhomes, the first units are expected to be available in the spring.