New zoning means new housing options downtown

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Provo’s first studio apartments broke ground last week and are expected to offer anyone looking to move downtown a cheaper option.

Previously, Provo zoning laws required all residential spaces be a minimum of 800 square feet; the studio apartments will average 300 square feet.

Peter Harradine and Dave Harman of Harman Property Management Group are behind these changes and the new apartments. They said the change occurred when they petitioned for smaller zoning and the city council complied.

“They were very easy to work with,” Harradine said. “The whole process was very quick.”

[easyembed field=”Photogallery”]Mayor John Curtis said a major factor in pushing the zoning change through was a belief it would boost business downtown.

“The goal is to get people downtown,” Curtis said, “and if they’re living downtown, they’re in walking distance from all the businesses.”

Harradine and Harman’s plans include remodeling a former NuSkin office building on Center Street into a mixed-use office and apartment building. More apartments are currently being added on to the back side of the building.

Both real estate developers said they feel the coming of studio apartments will bring a new and important era for downtown housing.

“These studio apartments will open up a whole new world downtown because they are so affordable,” Harradine said. “While real estate in general may be having a hard time, people are renting studio apartments more than ever.”

Harradine said the studio apartments will target young, single professionals rather than students.

Harradine and Harman said they are excited for the new LDS temple near downtown Provo.

“It was a surprise,” Harman said, “and a pleasant one.”

Remodeling older buildings is not new for Harman and Harradine, who have worked together remodeling old motels in Orem. Harman was also behind the construction of several apartment buildings south of BYU campus.

Harmon said leases for the studio apartments, which are expected to be ready for renting next March, will be flexible six-month contracts but they wouldn’t know exactly how much they will charge until sometime early next year.

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