Kensington Investment Company

Kensington Investment Company Inc.

Salt Lake City’s skyline is on its way for a transformation, and one building is set to take the crown.

Workers recently laid concrete on the 38th of what will be the 40-story, 449-foot Astra Tower, a residential super-structure that will set the high-water mark for building height in Utah.

Astra Tower, developed by Kensington Investment Company, will surpass the 422-foot Wells Fargo Center to become the tallest building in Utah.

It is a new product in the Salt Lake City housing market, one that’s being marketed for renters looking for ultra-high end housing in the core of the capital city.

Several new apartment buildings have been amenity-filled and marketed toward high income earners. Astra will take that and add altitude, with views of the valley in any direction.

On Wednesday night, representatives from the development team gave insights into what it’s like to assemble a construction team to construct a superstructure amid a pandemic, labor shortage, rising construction costs and ongoing supply shortages.

The tour was arranged by a group within the Utah chapter of the Urban Land Institute, which allowed Building Salt Lake to join and take photos along the way. It was day 468 of construction, a timeline tracked by a running timer that sits in the sprawling conference room at Kensington HQ, 311 S. State.

Even a lawsuit from a nearby property owner and a drill collapse early in the project’s development failed to slow construction in any meaningful way.

Astra is set to be completed next July, about two-and-a-half years after construction crews began ground improvements on the northwest corner of 200 South State.

The tower will stretch past 99 West on South Temple, the condo building erected in 2010 that is currently the tallest residential building in the state.

No, this is not affordable housing. It is market rate, and Kensington is effectively testing a thesis that there is an existing demand for apartments that very well could be the most expensive in the Intermountain West. (If that thesis proves correct, Kensington is sitting on two more sites Downtown that could continue the city’s skyscraper boom.)

As such, its renters will likely be among the highest income earners in the state who will expect an amenity-filled building to go with the prime site.

The building will provide three floors of amenities for renters in the building’s 377 units.

Astra renters will have access to what HKS is calling an urban park on the building’s 8th floor. The park will have paths to walk and be filled with large trees and other landscaping. The floor will also have a gym, club house and guest houses.