Laura Seitz, Deseret News
FILE - Homeless people gather outside The Road Home in Salt Lake City on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. City officials are discussing moving the shelter. Another Salt Lake City motel is on the radar for an affordable housing project.

SALT LAKE CITY — Another Salt Lake City motel is on the radar for an affordable housing project.

Salt Lake City Council members expressed support on Tuesday of a $1 million loan to finance the "Garden Lofts" project in place of the Royal Garden Inn, 154 W. 600 South, which would consist of 272 affordable housing units.

Wasatch Residential Group LLC is seeking the loan from the city's Housing Trust Fund to help build the project for families at or below 60 percent of the city's area median income.

The project on a 3.18-acre site currently occupied by the Royal Gardens Inn would have a variety of sizes of apartments, including 20 studios at $725 a month, 163 one-bedroom units at $775 a month, 76 two-bedroom units at $924 a month, and 13 three-bedroom units at $1,065 a month, according to a city staff report.

The project would consist of one five-story building with centrally structured parking surrounded by units with amenities including open courtyards, pet-friendly areas and an exercise facility, the report states.

Pending approval, the project construction is anticipated to begin in March and finish in January 2020.

"I'm excited about this," Councilman Derek Kitchen said, noting that it's "in the heart of" his downtown district, "a part of the city that can accommodate density, so the more the merrier."

"To me, this fees like workforce housing, you know, and that's an important part of the affordable housing conversation that we've been having over the last two years," Kitchen added. "I'm really jazzed about this; I'm a definite yes."

Councilman Charlie Luke also said he's "excited" about the project.

"This is a perfect example of a good project in the right place for density," he said. "This is something that hopefully we can see more opportunities like this."

Councilman Andrew Johnston also expressed support for the project, but also noted, that the project will "in a way displace" people who use the motel as an alternative to a homeless shelter.

"Just be aware there's a trade-off to these things too," Johnston said.

Facing no council opposition on Tuesday, the loan is expected to be approved during next week's council meeting.

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Last month, the City Council also voted to spend $4 million on a blighted motel property on North Temple with hopes to also turn it into an affordable housing project in the future.

The projects come as Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the council seek ways to increase the city's affordable housing stock while city, county and state leaders grapple with overhauling the city's homeless system.

Wasatch Residential Group LLC also manages affordable housing projects at Providence Place, 309 E. 100 South, and the Enclave at 1400 South, 1445 S. 300 West.