Utah Stories

Making the Most of Mixed-Use Space in Sugar House

Drivers Beware in Sugar House.


Wilmington Flats is one of the latest high density projects in Sugar House. Photo by Mark Salgado

It’s all a matter of perspective. When my my two-pound Chihuahua stands on the rocks in my garden, she feels like a giant. When Sugar House developers set out to make the best use of available space, they made things more convenient for shoppers and residents, but not drivers.

Sugar House is home to the Vue and Liberty Heights, apartment complexes that are built to be accessible to restaurants, service shops and stores. A new development, Wilmington Flats, was recently completed on Wilmington Avenue. The high rise apartments are constructed above retail space. Three commercial spaces are already open, Spitz Restaurant, Traeger Grills and Somi Vietnamese Bistro.

The development is also close to nearby shopping with bookstores, grocery stores and a University of Utah Health Clinic, all within walking distance of the apartments. It’s also adjacent to Hidden Hollow, a green space perfect for walking and biking.

Prices range up to $1750.00 for a two-bedroom apartment, with granite counter-tops and balconies listed as a couple of the amenities.

But it is still a matter of perspective. While Sugar House strives to make their community a walker’s delight, it’s turning into a driver’s nightmare. The roads are hard to navigate, particularly the side streets, and parking is a game of musical chairs with drivers racing to open spots.

It’s even gotten so bad the Sugar House Community Council offered the following warning on their website in March: “We want everyone that comes to Sugar House to attend our great events to enjoy their stay. Please take notice of our parking advisory so you don’t find yourself victim to some of the predatory practices going one by some property owners. The Sugar House Community Council does not find these policies to be inviting or beneficial to the community at large.”

  • The Vue underground parking (accessed via Highland Dr). Please note this parking will cost you $10 regardless of how long you are parked there, so beware of parking in this facility.
  • Parking in the parking lot for Pei Wei and Paradise Bakery. This owner is actively watching to see if anyone parks there and sets foot outside the parking area, and are booting cars.
  • Parking near Habit Burger. This is another location where they are watching to ensure people are not crossing the street to go anywhere other than the store fronts along McClelland.
  • Sugar House Commons has similar policies for their surface parking lot as above. However, there is an underground lot located between Petco and Bed, Bath & Beyond that is a public lot and should not be subject to those same restrictions.”

So visit Sugar House and see the changes going on there, but you might want to leave your car at home.

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