SALT LAKE CITY — Of the five sites chosen as possibilities for the up-to-300-bed homeless resource center in Salt Lake County, the site on Main Street in South Salt Lake would be the cheapest, with a cost of $1 million.

In contrast, the site on Printers Row in West Valley would be the most expensive, with a $3.5 million price tag.

That's according to real estate purchase contracts obtained by the Deseret News through a public records request that show the prices Salt Lake County has agreed to for four of the five sites. All contracts the county entered into secure the sites so any one could be purchased once a site is selected.

The price of one of the sites has not yet been negotiated, however.

The site located on a 1.6-acre empty field in West Valley City at 2249 S. Winston — owned by the Utah Transit Authority — is not under any legal contracts. Salt Lake County and UTA officials have entered into a verbal agreement that if the site is selected, the transit agency would sell the land to the county for a fair market value.

The land is considered by UTA to be "excess property" that the agency has "no current or future plans for," UTA officials said in a prepared statement Monday.

As for the sites that are under contract, here are the prices:

  • $3.5 million for 4.8 acres — 1820 W. Printers Row (2300 South), West Valley City.
  • $2.05 million for 0.86 acres — 2411 S. Winston (1070 West), West Valley City
  • $3.38 million for 2.6 acres — 1144 W. 3300 South, South Salt Lake
  • $1 million for 2 acres — 3091 S. Main, South Salt Lake

All of the purchase prices were negotiated under asking price, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said Tuesday, with an aim to "watch every penny to make sure we live within our budget." That's because Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City will be sharing the $20 million in state funds to build the three homeless resource centers — two 200-bed facilities in Salt Lake City and one 200- to 300-bed facility in either West Valley City or South Salt Lake.

"We knew, especially coming out of the legislative session, that our budget was fixed," McAdams said.

Salt Lake City has already agreed to spend $3 million on the site at 275 W. High Ave., in addition to a yet-to-be-decided price for the 131 E. 700 South property, currently owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The cost for each shelter — including construction and land purchases — is expected to be between $12 million and $15 million, depending on size and design, McAdams has said.

"We know the funding we received from the (state) is less than the amount of money we're going to need to do this," he said, adding the county will be doing fundraising to fill the gaps.

Before Salt Lake City leaders changed their plans to build two rather than four 150-bed homeless centers — dropping the most controversial site on 653 E. Simpson Ave. — McAdams had publicly expressed concern that Salt Lake City had agreed to pay too much for the 2.8-acre Sugar House site: $7 million.

Each of the potential Salt Lake County sites exceed the sites' assessed values — a common occurrence in real estate, especially in hot markets.

The Salt Lake County Assessor's 2016 figures valued the Printer's Row site at $2.8 million and the 2411 S. Winston site at $1.7 million. In South Salt Lake, the 1144 W. 3300 South location is assessed at about $3 million, and the 3091 S. Main site is valued at about $680,000.

The UTA-owned site is valued at about $457,000, but UTA spokesman Remi Barron said officials would only sell 1.6 acres of the land.

McAdams said he's confident his real estate team negotiated fair and reasonable prices for all the sites.

"Some are going to cost more than others depending on the market value of the respective land and the size of each parcel, but I think we were able to secure some sites that will work for this facility, and do it at a price that's acceptable to the taxpayer and can work within our budget," the mayor said.

Price will be a factor as the county's site evaluation committee weighs its options, McAdams said.

"But that doesn't necessarily mean the least expensive site is the site we will choose," he said. "We're going to need to look at all of the factors and analyze the pros and the cons of each site, and the relative price will certainly be a factor in that, but not the only factor we'll consider."