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The site of a former brick factory in Murray is being transformed into an urban-style neighborhood.
Hundreds of apartments are being built and hundreds more are coming as part of the Fireclay development that promises to transform a once-dilapidated side of town.
The first phase of the project, Lions Gate at Fireclay, began earlier this year. Renters are expected to arrive by next spring. The next phase, Brick Gate at Fireclay, is scheduled to start next month. Construction will take 20 months.
By the time the project is complete, it will have a total of 268 low-income housing units and 400 market-rate apartments.
The development at 4400 South and 100 West is a joint venture by Miller Development Company, which has its headquarters in Salt Lake City, and Strategic Capital Group, a Centerville-based company.
The $80 million project is expected to someday include retail, restaurant and office space.
"It's a good time to be in the apartment business and the need is there," said Jay Minnick, president and CEO of Miller Development. "There's a great need. It's also a fantastic infill project."
The first building and clubhouse at Lions Gate are slated to be done by spring, with a new building added each month until there are 15 buildings with a total of 400 apartments.
The look will be "very urban," Minnick said.
The development will be managed by sister company Millwood Management.
The 26-acre development is in Murray's Fireclay Redevelopment Project site, which the city established in 2005. In addition to the brick factory, the site once housed a smelter on a parcel that is not part of the Lions Gate and Brick Gate developments. The goal of that redevelopment site nearly 100 acres between 4200 and 4500 South, from State Street to the Union Pacific rail lines is to create a walkable, regional attraction close to TRAX stations and Interstates 15 and 215.
Hamlet Homes, which helped the city clean up the site, broke ground in 2008 on the first mixed-use development there Birkhill at Fireclay which has condos, townhouses and commercial space.
Misty Deakin, Miller Development's vice president of operations, said the impact of Lions Gate and Brick Hill will be felt outside the neighborhood.
"You'll see a lot more businesses coming in," Deakin said. "Rooftops bring business."
And Colin Wright, a partner in Strategic Capital Group, said the project also is benefiting the Utah economy by providing jobs in the construction industry.
Tim Tingey, director of Murray Administrative and Development Services, said a lot of the properties in the redevelopment area had been vacant or under-utilized. The developments, he said, are "going to create a true transit-oriented development area."
What is a transit-oriented development?
A transit-oriented development is a project built with an emphasis on mass transit. Such projects are meant to encourage high-quality development, revitalize an area around a transit station, encourage a mix of land uses, create a safe and attractive environment for pedestrians, provide open space amenities and coordinate urban design and streetscape elements.
Source: Murray Community and Economic Development