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PROJECT TO TURN WAREHOUSE INTO LOW-INCOME RENTAL UNITS

SHARE PROJECT TO TURN WAREHOUSE INTO LOW-INCOME RENTAL UNITS

The ultimate recycling project is under way in downtown Salt Lake City: Artspace will turn a wornout warehouse into low-income living/ workspace rental units.

The renovation of the California Tire and Rubber Co. building, 353 W. 200 South, also will revitalize a deteriorated part of downtown, its backers say."This is just the kind of development we need to anchor this part of town," said Alice Steiner, Salt Lake Redevelopment Agency director.

The 10-month renovation project will create 53 affordable-income rental units in the warehouse. Many units in the complex, which will be called the Artspace Rubber Company, will be large enough to double as workspaces for tenants.

Business spaces will be built at the first level of the three-story structure. Two businesses, including Rimini Cafe, have already expressed interest in locating in the building, said Stephen A. Goldsmith, Artspace director. There is room for a total of three businesses.

Goldsmith proposed the project about 21/2 years ago. Artspace successfully renovated a similar building on Pierpont Avenue. It is home to about 30 artists who live and work at the apartment complex.

"We have always had a waiting list for space in our building," Goldsmith said. "But once our waiting list went to over 100 people long, we realized it was time to attempt another project."

Artspace's waiting list currently has 300 names for any space in its projects, he said.

In addition to the RDA, which contributed $1 million, local businesses such as Utah Power and The Fidelity Foundation donated money for the $6 million project. It also has funding from a $300,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle; $433,000 in federal tax credits from the Utah Housing Finance Agency; and money from the Utah Housing Trust Fund and Salt Lake County Housing Fund.