Escalating interest rates in the early 1980s forced developers and builders Roger and Dale Kehl to scale down their dream of 300 condominium units at Stone Hollow at 5180 S. 3600 West, but they are hopeful that the reduced version can be completed sometime next year.
Even with just the present 35 units and the possibility of four more buildings with two condos each, Stone Hollow is still an impressive development in an area that mainly features single-family dwellings.Roger has had plenty of inquires about building in Stone Hollow, and one person was so impressed with the construction that he wants a house with the Stone Hollow design built on a lot in Murray even though it would be a single-family house. "We are looking for a lot in Murray," Roger said.
Dale said there has been a resurgence in interest in condominiums in recent months and feels Stone Hollow meets the needs of retired couples because, even though there are basements, the majority of the necessities are located on the main floor.
Enlisting the aid of architect Fred Babcock, Arnold Development Co. (Mervin Arnold) and Kehl Building Co. started Stone Hollow in 1979. The development was begun on the north end of the old Sorensen Sand and Gravel pit, and plans were in place to continue south to 5400 South.
This is the fourth sand and gravel pit reclaimed by the Kehls.
"When interest rates went sky high in the early 1980s, we had to scale back the project to a crawl and convert the land to other uses just to survive," said Roger. The Kehls developed the Cobblestone subdivision south of Stone Hollow and traded some land where Mulberry Park now sits.
In spite of these problems, the Kehls are still proud of Stone Hollow because it's the only condominium project of its type on the west side of Salt Lake Valley. Roger said some people have told him Stone Hollow condos are the best-built units they have seen and the price is right ($75,000-$90,000) because it's on the west side of the valley.
"We debated over whether to use that land for cheap housing or a condominium project and we finally decided the west side of the valley could use a project of this type," said Roger. "Nobody has complained about the units," he said.
Featuring brick construction, Stone Hollow units have two or three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, vaulted ceilings in the larger units, fireplaces, oak railings and double garages. There is a recreation vehicle parking area and a tennis court, but no swimming pool because the Stone Hollow Condominium Homeowners Association didn't want to deal with the liability.
One of the residents in Stone Hollow is Max Hiskey, who lived at 2905 W. 3500 South but had to get away from the heavy traffic. He wanted to remain in the same general area. Hiskey has one of the larger units with 1,700 square feet,three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Ross Coverstone was Stone Hollow's first resident 11 years ago and made a trade for his old house at 2540 S. 1700 East. He had heart problems and wanted to get away from keeping up the outside of his house. (The outside maintenance of Stone Hollow condos is done by the association.)
He has 1,200 square feet of space with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. "A similar condo would be much more money on the east side of the valley. These are friendly people and I wouldn't move even if I had the chance," he said.
Another resident is Harold Jensen, Coverstone's brother-in-law, who lived in Sacramento, Calif., for 32 years before moving to Stone Hollow. He was invited to see the condos by Coverstone, like them and moved in.
"I never thought I would ever live in Utah," he said, "but I like the neighbors and the area."