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Once envisioned as the home of the Salt Lake County district attorney's office, a 2.3-acre parcel on the southwest corner of 600 S. State Street is being sold by the county to the Wasatch Group for $5.82 million.

The company owned by Dell Loy Hansen is expected to build mid-priced housing at the site that would be targeted for the city's "regular workforce," Lee Colvin, the county's real-estate manager, told the County Council Tuesday.

The council unanimously approved the sale.

Colvin said the county initially bought the land for a little more than $5 million and invested another $600,000 in demolishing buildings that were there, relocating four tenants and putting in some landscaping while plans were being drawn up for the D.A. offices.

But then the building's price tag soared, from $33 million to $54 million, partly because the State Street site was too small to accommodate parking and the six-story headquarters.

Plans for the site were abandoned when Mayor Ben McAdams purchased a 3.1-acre site at 465 S. Main St. from Property Reserve Inc., the real-estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for $9.1 million.

Colvin said the county received several offers for the State Street property since it went on the market last September. But most tried to lowball the county because there are several other sizable housing complexes in the vicinity.

But Wasatch Group's residential division was willing to pay the appraised price, Colvin said, "so we'll make a couple of hundred thousand dollars on [the land]."

He noted that Wasatch Group has built several other housing projects in Salt Lake City in recent years. "We're confident they have a design that will be approved by the city," Colvin added.

Hansen, owner of Real Salt Lake, has significant downtown interests as the owner of the Wells Fargo Center, Ken Garff Building and Questar Corporate Center. Wasatch Group also has 16,344 apartments, many in the 67 multi-family residential properties the company owns in five Western states, along with $4 billion worth of commercial properties. It employs more than 900 people.