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A University of Utah health clinic will be the major tenant in a three-building office and residential complex proposed for the old Shopko grocery store site at 2290 S. 1300 East in Sugar House.
Westport Capital Partners, which owns the irregularly shaped 9-acre parcel that stretches west to Highland Drive, said in a news release Friday that the U. clinic will be the sole tenant of a 170,000-square-foot office building that will anchor the project's east side.
That 100-foot-tall building would be accompanied by a somewhat smaller office building and a 200-unit residential tower with retail on the ground floor provided the project secures Salt Lake City approval.
The next step in that process comes Wednesday night, when the city Planning Commission holds a 5:30 p.m. public hearing on the project, which also includes developing Stringham Avenue between 1300 East and Highland Drive, improving Ashton Avenue on the south and building underground parking and an internal plaza.
Westport Capital Principal Greg Geiger expressed confidence the planning commission will sign off on the project, predicting construction of the health-clinic building should begin this month, with occupancy in mid-2019.
"Early on in the planning process we sought feedback from the community on what they wanted to see in the area," Geiger said. "One of the key themes we heard was that what Sugar House really needs is more daytime users for existing retail and dining establishments."
The U. clinic will accomplish that goal, he added, bringing an expected 200 employees and thousands of weekday patients "who will shop, dine and support local businesses infusing the economy and strengthening this growing community."
Salt Lake City planner Daniel Echeverria said the Sugar House Community Council cited several reservations about the project that the developer has been attempting to resolve. Most involved pedestrian issues along an expanded Stringham Avenue.
Wayne Imbrescia, executive director of ambulatory services in the University Health system, said the old Shopko site was an ideal location for a sizable clinic to serve the population boom coming to Sugar House.
The clinic will offer primary and preventive care, oncology treatment and weight-loss services.
"This property was a natural fit for us," Imbrescia said. "This location accommodates our patients by moving critical services from our hospital campus into the community where it's more convenient."
Geiger said Westport Capital soon will name a broker who will seek tenants for the second office building, which will be southwest of the U. clinic and contain 150,000 square feet of space. The residential tower will be along Highland Drive.
Based in Wilton, Conn., Westport Capital has offices in Los Angeles, London and Bozeman, Mont. Its website said it had $2 billion of assets under management at the end of March. Investors include pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies and institutions.