Brodsky Built Announces Grand Opening of Highgate Cove in Roy

Brodsky Built Announces Grand Opening of Highgate Cove in Roy 2560 1440 Brodsky Built


ROY, UTAH – Brodsky Built is excited to host the Highgate Cove community opening located at 3633 West 4835 South in Roy, Utah 84067.  The event will take place on Friday, October 20th at 12:00 noon at the model home in the community.  An open house with tours, lunch empanadas from local food truck vendor Chicho’s, gourmet cookies for dessert from Twisted Sugar, and gift card give-a-ways from local Roy businesses will last until 2:00pm. The Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce and Spikers group ambassadors will kickoff the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Chamber President, Chuck Leonhardt, will speak about the local chamber and welcome Brodsky Built to the community.  Roy City Mayor, Robert Dandoy, Council Member Randy Scadden, and Council Member Ann Jackson will be guests of honor.  The public and press are invited to attend.

The 34 single-family detached homes are designed to meet a market niche in the area.  These homes are designed as 1,555/1,667 square foot two-story, four bedrooms, 2.5 bath, 2-car attached garage homes.  Home prices start in the upper $400k with plenty of design and color options to help homeowners create their ideal home.  The property on which Highgate Cove sits on was originally zoned for a commercial retirement center.  Roy City Council approved the residential zoning and configuration of the subdivision.  Current market research for Weber County shows that housing inventory is very low, and reveals that single-family housing is in high demand.  Brodsky Built is excited for the opportunity to build a new community in Roy.

Model home is open Tuesdays – Saturdays from 11:00am – 6:00pm.

After $1 Million Cleanup, Controversial Bullion Place Subdivision Begins Construction

After $1 Million Cleanup, Controversial Bullion Place Subdivision Begins Construction 800 600 Brodsky Built

A controversial housing project has commenced construction on Bullion Street. Developer Michael Brodsky announced that after environmental containment, the development of 74 homes at Bullion Place, a late 19th-century copper smelter site, will move forward. The development consists of 20 single-family homes and 54 townhomes on an 8-acre site that was contaminated with slag material, a waste product from the copper smelting process containing lead and arsenic.

However, the main controversy surrounding the site had nothing to do with contaminants than it did with changing the planned housing density. Since it was first proposed in 2020, residents near Bullion Street vociferously expressed concern with the city planners and elected officials about the potential of high-density apartments that could be constructed on the site.

Developers have passed on the property due to forecasted cleanup costs that many would deem unprofitable if left to a single-family zoned neighborhood. Brodsky Built developers came up with a compromise proposal that eventually passed the city planning commission and was adopted by the city council.

In a press release, Brodsky said, “These old industrial sites in Murray, Midvale, and other communities just sort of call out to me. I welcome the challenges and opportunities that come with transforming brownfield properties in prime locations. The things that made Murray convenient for the industry in the 19th century—location, location, and location—are the same things that make sites like Bullion Place perfect today for residents seeking walkable, amenity-rich neighborhoods with easy access to freeways, TRAX and FrontRunner.”

With Bullion Place, Brodsky Completes Fifth Murray Community Built on Former Industrial Sites

With Bullion Place, Brodsky Completes Fifth Murray Community Built on Former Industrial Sites 2016 1512 Brodsky Built


MURRAY, UTAH – When Michael Brodsky came across eight acres of former industrial site sitting vacant in this bustling, small city in the middle of the Salt Lake Valley, he envisioned a thriving new residential community where others only saw challenging environmental cleanups.

With the recent completion of 20 single-family and 54 townhome lots at Bullion Place – on the site of a late 19th-century copper smelter – this is the fifth environmental cleanup project, and 11th residential or commercial development, Brodsky has built in Murray, alone or with partners.

“So much time, effort, and work has gone into cleaning up and getting the property ready for development,” says Jacob Ballstaedt of Garbett Homes, which partnered with Brodsky to build the townhomes at Bullion Place. “It’s rare to find a piece of land this large in the heart of the valley and Mike has done a really great job of cleaning up the ground for a sizeable and beautiful neighborhood.”

Why have so many of Brodsky’s projects involved voluntarily cleaning up century-old waste from the vestiges of Murray’s industrial past?

“These old industrial sites in Murray, Midvale, and other communities just sort of call out to me,” Brodsky says with a smile. “I welcome the challenges and opportunities that come with transforming brownfield properties in prime locations. The things that made Murray convenient for industry in the 19th century – location, location, and location – are the same things that make sites like Bullion Place perfect today for residents seeking walkable, amenity-rich neighborhoods with easy access to freeways, TRAX, and FrontRunner.”


Between the end of the 19th century and the late 1930s, Murray City was an important center for smelting and refining lead and precious metals from ore mined in the mountains surrounding the Salt Lake Valley. Industry built Murray, but left behind contaminated land that couldn’t be developed without extensive cleanup.

The site of the Bullion Place Subdivision, for example, was home to the Highland Boy Smelter, which refined copper ore between 1899 to 1907. While parts of the eight-acre property have been used periodically over the decades, it remained contaminated with slag, a waste material from metal smelting that contains high levels of toxic lead and arsenic. In recent years, a grocery store company used part of the site for a communications facility, before closing it and putting the property up for sale.

Several developers considered buying the property but decided it was too difficult to clean up and walked away from it. Brodsky and his company, Brodsky Built, saw the (figurative) glint of gold among the slag piles and bought the site to replicate their successful formula of cleaning up the land and creating another desirable residential community.

(No stranger to taking risks, Brodsky established Utah’s first commercial wetland mitigation bank in 1996, selling credits to developers whose projects disturbed wetlands and creating more than 300 acres of vibrant new wetlands elsewhere in Salt Lake County.)


When the cleanup and development work is completed, the Bullion Place Subdivision will provide homes to 74 families in the heart of Murray and the Salt Lake Valley. In all, 20 single-family homesdeveloped by Brodsky Built, and 54 townhomes built by Garbett Homes will be a part of Bullion Place. The new neighborhood will feature a community park with picnic areas, a playground, and open spaces for multiple uses by residents of Bullion Place.

“The city appreciates that Mike Brodsky is cleaning up the environment and that he is providing more housing,” says Doug Hill, Murray City’s Chief Administrative Officer. “The housing shortage is a serious issue in Murray and the entire Salt Lake Valley. Bullion Place, like Mike’s other projects, offers a good variety of housing options. We’re happy to say goodbye to the contaminated soil and hello to the new families moving into the neighborhood.”

Brodsky gives Murray City high marks, too. “Building in Murray has been the highlight of my career. The professionalism, competency, and integrity of the city administration have made working here a real pleasure. It is a very satisfying experience to be able to take blighted sites and turn them into vibrant safe, quality residential neighborhoods. I’m proud of what we have accomplished.”


The environmental cleanup for the Bullion Place Subdivision cost about $1 million and Brodsky assembled a seasoned and knowledgeable team to conduct it. The group included Nick Mingo, a civil engineer at EDM Partners to design the site; Chris Nolan of Wasatch Environmental to oversee the design of the cleanup process; and Joe Dunn with Kilgore Companies to do the cleanup work itself.

The first step in the process was to identify the scope of the contamination. Extensive test borings and laboratory analysis determined that the site contained slag with high concentrations of lead and arsenic and that there were no other sources of contamination. Testing found that the slag material did not dissolve in water and that the soil surrounding the slag was not contaminated. This meant that the slag could be isolated, collected, and removed, leaving behind nothing but clean soil and a buildable site.

The Bullion Place cleanup project was done under the authority of the state of Utah’s Voluntary Cleanup Program, or VCP. It was reviewed and approved by Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) officials headed up by Bill Rees, and including onsite oversight by Lincoln Grevengoed. The final step before construction can begin on the property was for UDEQ to issue a Certificate of Completion, indicating that the site has been safely cleaned to residential standards. .


Environmental cleanups are necessarily messy, and, like most construction projects, they can cause disruptions for neighboring residents and businesses. Taking pains to reduce and eliminate neighborhood impacts like trucks tracking out mud is a Brodsky priority. Sometimes, though, residents want to get closer to the action.

“One of my favorite stories from this development is about a toddler and his mother walking by the site every day and watching the heavy equipment at work,” Brodsky remembers. “After seeing this happen for a few days, the Kilgore construction crew stopped work briefly the next time the mom and kid came by and surprised the young child with a drawing and description of all of the equipment used on site, along with a Tonka-size bulldozer. It was a wonderful and simple gesture and reminded me of why I love what I do.”

Michael Brodsky Builds on 30 Years of Success with Renamed & Refocused Development Firm

Michael Brodsky Builds on 30 Years of Success with Renamed & Refocused Development Firm 872 478 Brodsky Built


THE Brand Expansion Highlights Owner’s Reputation and Prevents Confusion with Homebuilding Firm Brodsky Sold in 2017

MURRAY, UTAH – After nearly 30 years of building innovative housing and commercial projects throughout northern Utah, Hamlet Development is expanding its brand and name to Brodsky Built.

The rebranding is the culmination of the sale of Hamlet Homes to its senior employees – Barry Gittleman, Elliott Jenkins, Jon Southern, and Philip Mosher.  Hamlet Development, which was created in 1994, has always been the development company providing finished lots to Hamlet Homes and other builders across the Wasatch Front.  The name change is an effort to eliminate confusion over the continued operations of Hamlet Homes and the development company.  Brodsky continues on with new challenges under the Brodsky Built brand which highlights his reputation for excellence.

“It’s bittersweet to formally make this name change,” Brodsky said. “We’ve had tremendous success with Hamlet Homes and Hamlet Development over the past three decades. I’m proud of what our team accomplished in the past, and I’m excited to see the continued success of Hamlet Homes under new ownership.”

Brodsky will continue to take on similar housing and commercial projects, as well as providing finished building lots to builders. Brodsky will also continue pursuing projects across Northern Utah.  After completing Voluntary Cleanup Programs in 5 different developments over the last 17 years with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), his expertise in brownfields cleanup will be very useful going forward.

Under Brodsky’s ownership, Hamlet Homes was recognized for its rapid revenue growth by Builder magazine, which named the firm to its “Fast Track” Hall of Fame for five years in a row during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The company was one of three finalists for the prestigious National Quality Housing Award in 2008 and earned a Governor’s Quality Growth Award in 2009 for its groundbreaking Birkhill at Fireclay transit-oriented development (TOD) on a former industrial site next to a TRAX light rail stop in Murray.  This was the first of four TOD’s that Brodsky built.  Also in 2005, Brodsky introduced Elsinore Communication to the market.  Elsinore, through a relationship with Utopia, provided highspeed fiberoptic connectivity to many of the communities that Brodsky developed, which touched over 1,100 families.

In 1996, Brodsky recognized a need for wetland mitigation across Salt Lake County, and Diversified Habitats was born.  Diversified Habitats was the first commercial wetland mitigation bank in Utah and over the next 10 years created more than 300 acres of new vibrant wetlands.

Brodsky founded Hamlet Development in 1994 and developed three neighborhoods in Sandy and Murray that first year. Since then, the company has developed more than 5,100 building lots in 67 different neighborhoods for both Hamlet Homes and other local home builders. For most of these years, Nick Mingo in various roles has been intimately involved in the design and construction of many of these communities.  Over the years, Brodsky has also built over 120,000 sqft of office buildings in Murry and Park City.

Hamlet Homes was created in 1995.  From its inception, John Aldous has been at the helm of Hamlet Homes as its President.  His steady leadership is largely responsible for Hamlet Homes’ success over the years.  The company has created high-quality residential neighborhoods throughout northern Utah, from Springville to Weber County, and Tooele to Wasatch County.

After selling Hamlet Homes in 2017 to four senior managers, Brodsky stayed on as their chairman until 2020 when the sale was complete. The transition of the Hamlet Development name to Brodsky Built is the final step of the transaction.

Brodsky Built remains headquartered at Granton Square, 84 West 4800 South in Murray, in a 34,000 square foot building built by Brodsky and opened in 2019. Hamlet Homes will also maintain its headquarters in the building.

Hamlet Homes CEO Michael Brodsky Announces the Sale of Hamlet Homes

Hamlet Homes CEO Michael Brodsky Announces the Sale of Hamlet Homes 1194 790 Brodsky Built

Hamlet Homes CEO Michael Brodsky Announces the Sale of Hamlet Homes

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Michael Brodsky, the founder of Hamlet Homes and Hamlet Development Corporation, announced publicly today that he has sold Hamlet Homes, an award-winning builder of quality, customer-oriented townhomes and single-family homes, to four senior managers of the company. The transaction took place in January 2017, upon which Barry Gittleman, President and COO; Jon Southern, Vice President of Construction; Phil Mosher, Vice President of Sales and Marketing; and Elliott Jenkins, Vice President and CFO, collectively took 100% ownership of Hamlet Homes and created Hamlet Homes IV, a new organization in 2017 to reflect the new ownership.

Brodsky founded Hamlet Development Corporation in 1994. As a residential developer in Northern Utah, Hamlet Development designed and developed three neighborhoods in Sandy and Murray that first year. Since then, the company has developed over 4,500 building lots in 60 neighborhoods for both Hamlet Homes and many other local home builders.

In 1995, Brodsky founded Hamlet Homes. Much of the success of the company was attributed to the leadership of John Aldous, whose industry knowledge and personal integrity as President guided the growth of the company for more than 20 years. “Hamlet Homes has worked diligently in its 23 years to create attractive residential neighborhoods in Utah, from Springville in the south to Tooele in the west, Park City, Summit County, and Wasatch County in the east, and as far north as Weber County,” said Brodsky.

“During that time, Hamlet Homes designed and built more than 3,500 homes to meet the needs and wants of our customers,” continued Brodsky. “We grew from our first annual revenues of $238,000 in 1994 to nearly $108 million in our peak year in 2006, and were proud to withstand the severe housing recession from 2008 – 2012. Unlike many in our industry, we did not shut our doors, but instead, fulfilled all of our obligations to our customers, contractors and vendors who, in turn, remained loyal to Hamlet as we began a recovery in 2013.”

With the sale of Hamlet Homes to its senior managers in 2017, Brodsky continues to serve as the CEO for Hamlet Homes and, over the next few years, will provide support and advice to the new owners.

Gittleman explains, “In 2016, Elliott, Phil, Jon, and I were thrilled when the opportunity to purchase Hamlet Homes became available. We are building on the success and sterling reputation that Michael Brodsky established for the company he founded 23 years ago. We have a clear vision and ambitious plans for Hamlet Homes moving forward, that will include continuing to build great homes and providing great experiences for our customers.”

Brodsky, in addition to his role as CEO for Hamlet Homes, continues as the President and sole owner of Hamlet Development Corporation. Hamlet Development, along with the very talented support of Nick Mingo of EDM partners, Hayley Pratt, Land Development Specialist and Holly Franklin, Executive Assistant, will continue to provide Hamlet Homes with high-quality neighborhoods across Northern Utah. Hamlet Development also oversees the management of rental properties, including a new Class A 34,000 sq. ft. office building designed by Architect James Glascock, that is currently under construction in Granton Square, a mixed-use development in Murray. Brodsky has hired Furst Construction as the General Contractor for the office building which is slated for completion in summer of 2019. The building will serve as the corporate headquarters for Hamlet Homes who will be occupying 7,000 sq. ft. of the building. Hamlet Development and US Title Insurance Agency will also be tenants in the building. Located at 84 West 4800 South this class A building is in an area of Murray undergoing dynamic redevelopment. Leasing of the building is being handled by Orden Yost of CBRE.

While Hamlet Homes is currently the primary focus of Hamlet Development’s new neighborhoods, Hamlet Development is expected to also provide building lots for other builders in Northern Utah.

Chief Justice Howe Reflects On Nearly a Century of Memories

Chief Justice Howe Reflects On Nearly a Century of Memories 800 533 Brodsky Built

By Shaun Delliskave |

For his 22 years on the Utah Supreme Court and as a member of one of Murray’s oldest families, Chief Justice Richard Howe has been honored by having a street named after him. Justice Howe Lane, part of the new Balintore neighborhood by Hamlet Homes, intersects the former Howe homestead on 5600 South.

In 1980, Gov. Scott Matheson appointed Howe to the Utah Supreme Court; he served as Chief Justice for his final four years. He was known for his fairness and for treating others with respect. He retired from the court in 2002. Since then he has been devoted to gardening and growing the sweetest ears of corn—his favorite crop.

The grandson of some of Murray’s earliest settlers, the 94-year-old was born on the property where he would later raise his family. He lived there for a total of 93 years. While attending Woodstock Elementary, Irving Junior High and Granite High School, he remembers going to Murray Park and swimming in its pool. Back then, the pool was fed directly from Little Cottonwood Creek.

“It was really cold most of the time,” said Howe.

He fondly remembers growing up in a Murray that no longer exists, such as getting ice cream at Tyler’s Café. He also remembers the Murray City Pharmacy (now Wright’s Costumes at 4874 State Street).

“I worked there at one time, and it was also the same place that I met my future wife, Juanita. I was always interested in farming. As a boy, I worked on my uncle’s farm, and there were farms all around us in the Murray area. It was in my junior year of high school that I took a class called commercial law. Much to my delight, the class was very interesting. I just decided then that perhaps being a lawyer might be a better career choice.”

Howe went on to the University of Utah and graduated with a law degree. Keeping close to his Murray roots, he hung out his attorney shingle on State Street. His reputation for being a good lawyer soon spread, and he was appointed a judge on the Murray City Court, serving from 1953 to 1955.

He also represented Murray for six terms in the Utah House of Representatives and two terms in the Utah Senate. Howe, who had played a central leadership role in shepherding judicial reform bills through the legislature as Speaker of the House, caught the attention of Matheson for a potential State Supreme Court Justice.

During their time on the court, Howe and fellow justices Dallin Oaks and Christine Durham were noted for their efforts to reform and modernize Utah’s judicial system. Many processes and procedures that Howe instituted can still be seen in Utah’s judicial organizations today.

“I think the hardest thing (about being a judge) was affirming sentences on men and women who had committed criminal acts,” Howe said. “It made me always reflect on my own life—about the importance of being raised in a good home and having good friends around me.”

Howe’s colleagues were always recipients of his garden’s bounty. Upon his retirement as chief justice, he received as a gift a new set of gardening implements to carry on his farming passion, which he uses to this very day.

In order to help all those who pass through Justice Howe Lane understand Howe’s personal history and legacy, Hamlet Homes has installed a community plaque at the entrance to the neighborhood. The plaque contains an old aerial photo of the land with a brief biography of Howe.

When asked if he would do anything differently in his near-century of life, the judge reflects, “I don’t think I would change things very much. I would hopefully spend more time outdoors with my family. I also would like to have a bigger garden so that I could raise more of that wonderful sweet corn.”

Hamlet Homes’ Energy-Efficient, Solar Townhome Community in Newpark Town Center in Park City, Utah, Experiences Strong Demand

Hamlet Homes’ Energy-Efficient, Solar Townhome Community in Newpark Town Center in Park City, Utah, Experiences Strong Demand 600 400 Brodsky Built

PARK CITY, Utah – Hamlet Homes has announced that 80% of its popular, energy-efficient townhome community in Utah, Nevis at Newpark in the Newpark Town Center in Park City, Utah, has been sold, most of it pre-sold based on its unique model home design.

Designed for outdoor enthusiasts and the investment-savvy, energy-conscious homebuyer, the attractive, 1,255-square-foot solar townhomes provide home buyers with an exclusive opportunity to live ‘green’ in the heart of the walkable, mixed-use Newpark Town Center (LEED-ND Certified*). Park City’s three world-class ski resorts – Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and the Canyons – are just minutes away and will soon gain new prestige when resort owner, Vail, connects Park City and the Canyons to create the largest ski resort in North America.

Hamlet Homes broke ground on the 23 Nevis townhomes in September 2014 and celebrated the grand opening of the Nevis model home in February 2015. With pricing starting at $431,990, the solar townhome community has been in high demand. Hamlet Homes President John Aldous notes that the townhome’s modern design, energy-efficient features, and exceptional location and views make it a very attractive option for home buyers.

“The Nevis at Newpark townhomes are ideal as an energy-efficient primary residence, a second home or as rental property,” said Aldous. “The proximity to outstanding winter and summer recreation opportunities, the convenience of a walkable neighborhood with restaurants, shopping and services, plus miles of walking, running and biking trails that begin just steps away at the Swaner Eco Center, make Nevis at Newpark a rare find.”

Energy efficiencies at Nevis include 1.5 KW solar panels (well-concealed in a rooftop terrace) that average 25% of each townhome’s energy load, central air with a 13 Seer rating, programmable set-back thermostat, 92% high-efficiency furnace, a tankless water heater, Toto toilet seats, Low-E windows and Energy Star® appliances. Further efficiencies are gained using 2×6” exterior walls with R-23 blown-in insulation and R-48/R-60 blown-in insulation in the ceilings.

Each home is built to the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard®, the first and only residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The Nevis floor plan has two master bedroom/bathroom suites on the upper level and a third bath with shower on the family room level. Interior features include rounded wall corners, satin nickel hardware, Whirlpool appliances, quartz countertops, and a gas fireplace. The rooftop terrace, perfect for adding a hot tub for après-ski and stargazing, offers stunning views of the slopes and canyons at Deer Valley and Park City Ski Resorts.

Pre-wired with Control4 technology, the townhomes provide buyers with the flexibility to program in Smart Home features such as remote access to door locks, lighting, video distribution, and surveillance capabilities.

For further information contact Phil Mosher at Hamlet Homes, 801-865-3000.

*LEED ND Certified – Leadership in Environmental & Energy Design/Neighborhood Development. This is a land development rating systems developed by a joint venture of the world’s leading organizations for environmental improvement: US Green Building Council, Natural Resources Defense Council and Congress for New Urbanism.


Hamlet Homes crafts quality, customer-oriented townhomes and single-family homes located in attractively designed neighborhoods in northern Utah. In addition, Hamlet is a leader of urban redevelopment, transit-oriented communities. Having marked its 20th anniversary in 2014, Hamlet has developed over 3,300 homes in 38 communities and Hamlet Development Corporation has developed more than 4,200 lots for Hamlet Homes and other builders.

The company is a proud recipient of many awards including the Builder of Integrity Award from the Quality Builder Warranty Corporation in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010; in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007 Hamlet was awarded Utah’s Best of State medal for residential construction. Hamlet has been a finalist in the National Housing Quality Awards as well as the recipient of the 2009 Governor’s Quality Growth Award. Located in Murray City, Utah, Hamlet Homes is part of the Hamlet group of companies, which includes Hamlet Development and Hamlet Commercial.

Townhomes Offer Affordable, Spacious Living in South Salt Lake

Townhomes Offer Affordable, Spacious Living in South Salt Lake 1200 800 Brodsky Built

South Salt Lake • A new cluster of townhomes named for a storied piece of Scotland has sprouted on the border between Murray and South Salt Lake, hinting at broader trends in Utah urban living.

Built by Hamlet Homes, the Carlisle Place project at 700 West and 3800 South will open two model homes for tours starting Friday and Saturday — just as demand for housing choices such as townhomes and condominiums has surged.

Two units in Carlisle Place have already sold in what is envisioned as a community of 57 three-story brick-and-stucco townhomes near the Jordan River Parkway, two golf courses, a TRAX station and the Interstate 15 freeway. The properties — starting in the $194,000 price range — strike a balance between affordability and high-quality design and construction, according to Hamlet Homes founder, owner and chairman Michael Brodsky.

Brodsky said the Carlisle Place floor plans, ranging from 1,864 to 1,960 square feet, drew heavily on input from homebuyers at Waverly Station, a fully sold 160-townhome development by Hamlet Homes at 3700 S. West Temple, near Harmony Park and Southgate Shopping Center in South Salt Lake.

The resulting designs add an open, more spacious feel to living areas, secondary bedrooms, patios and decks as well as additional room in the units’ two-car attached garages, he said.

“You can feel the extra space throughout the entire house,” Brodskey said Tuesday as construction crews scurried around Carlisle Place in advance of this weekend’s grand opening.

The project’s features and location reflect its target buyer— a city-dwelling demographic of young single professionals, newlyweds, couples with small children as well as empty nesters looking to scale down. The two- and three-bedroom homes have scenic views, private porches and balconies, energy-efficient appliances and are wired for high-speed Internet access and roof-mounted solar panels. Typical of most townhomes, there are few lawns to mow but green spaces just a short walk away.

The housing development and a few others like it are hitting the Salt Lake County housing market just as inventories of available homes have dipped below historic levels in recent months, one of several factors that pushed up home prices year-over-year across the Wasatch Front.

As the housing market continues its recovery and foreclosures and short sales of single-family homes decline, more buyers who want to live near city centers are finding townhomes and condominiums attractive, several market observers said.

“They’re choosing area first and then, what is affordable to them,” said David Robison, a South Jordan-based real estate agent specializing in townhomes. “And they’re just not finding the screaming deals on [single-family] homes now that prices are back up.”

Prices at Carlisle Place are $50,000 below the median home price countywide, which reached $244,625 at the end of 2013, based on data from the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Dwindling supplies of single-family homes drove sales of townhomes and condominiums in Salt Lake County to 15 percent higher than the year before. Analysts say the trend is likely to continue at least into the first half of 2014 as many homebuilders continue to face tighter credit markets.

Carlisle Place also comes as Hamlet Homes marks 20 years since it was founded, with construction of more than 3,200 homes in cities such as Murray, South Salt Lake, West Valley City, West Jordan and Draper as well as Bountiful, Woods Cross and Park City. Among those projects are several planned urban developments and townhome communities next to resorts and golf courses and along Utah Transit Authority routes.

One of the region’s largest builders, Hamlet Homes has drawn praise in local and national circles for its handling of high-density housing and for integrating projects with light rail, most notably Milburn Manor in West Valley City and a 30-acre portion of mixed residential, retail and office development in Murray known as Birkhill at Fireclay.

The company gives Scottish names to its developments, drawing on the ancestry of Brodsky’s wife and interior decorator Susan Brodsky.

“It has been an incredible experience for me,” Brodsky, a Philadelphia native, said of two decades of homebuilding in Utah. “Except for parts of the last five years, I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Rail Line Drives Utah Development

Rail Line Drives Utah Development 945 630 Brodsky Built


TWO years ago, this Salt Lake City suburb began collaborating with a local developer to turn industrial land into a neighborhood of town homes, condominiums and offices. Now the project, known as Birkhill at Fireclay, is finally being built.

The 30-acre $140 million development by Hamlet Homes, one of this region’s largest builders, will have 420 units of housing and 200,000 square feet of retail and office space. Groundbreaking is set to begin in about a month. The idea is to give homeowners easier access to their jobs or to stores.

Murray City and Hamlet Homes are taking advantage of growing buyer interest in living and working near the regional TRAX light rail system, which has operated in the Salt Lake Valley since 1999. The Murray North station, one of three TRAX stops in Murray City — population 50,000 — serves as the centerpiece of Birkhill at Fireclay.

“People can go where they want and won’t have to get in a car,” said Keith Snarr, the director of Murray City’s economic development office, who helped negotiate the agreement with Hamlet Homes. “It may not be the lifestyle for everybody, but there are a lot of people around here now that understand what it means to be urban and find this attractive.”

Salt Lake City and its closest suburbs built the $520 million, 19-mile, 23-station TRAX system, which carries more than 55,000 riders a day, well ahead of ridership projections. Voters have also repeatedly passed sales tax increases, including one approved last November, to spend $2.5 billion more in the next decade to complete 26 additional miles of light rail, 88 miles of heavy commuter rail line and nearly 40 extra station stops. The only American metropolitan area that is building more regional rapid transit capacity is Denver, which is constructing a 151-mile system.

Birkhill at Fireclay is the first development in a 97-acre transit-oriented district Murray City has established around the Murray North station. And it is one of a growing number of transit-oriented developments in the Wasatch Front, an urban area with a population of more than two million that is looking for new ways to get around — less by car, and especially by rail. A host of other American metropolitan regions, among them Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Sacramento, St. Louis, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and Portland, Ore., have invested billions of dollars over the last decade to pursue the same idea.

Mr. Snarr says he is convinced that the confluence of fast-rising energy and land costs, static incomes and the region’s swift population growth are producing the market conditions for a successful new neighborhood on land along Fireclay Avenue that has served as his city’s industrial backyard.

The existing 23 rail stations and the roughly 40 more stops on the way offer developers dozens of opportunities to design and build transit-focused home and business districts at the center of the Salt Lake Valley’s towns and cities.

“The basic reason that transit-oriented development is working in Utah and other places is largely demographic,” said Gloria Ohland, vice president for communications at Reconnecting America, a national transit research group based in Oakland, Calif. “American households are older, smaller and more diverse,” she said. “Singles are 41 percent of the population. People who are single and couples that have no children — those are the people who gravitate to cities.”

Even with a new tide of people heading their way, transit-focused builders say there are plenty of impediments. Assembling parcels large enough to be attractive requires considerable work in city and town centers. It took Hamlet Homes more than two years to amass the 30 acres for Birkhill at Fireclay.

And in most communities, including Murray City, the zoning regulations that directed homes and businesses to be spread far apart have to be rewritten. Murray City passed a transit development ordinance in 2005 that allows narrower streets, encourages trees and pocket parks, and is designed to produce a new district that is not too densely built up, but also won’t look or feel anything like a typical single-use suburban subdivision.

Michael Brodsky, the chairman of Hamlet Homes, which he founded in 1995, said the difficulties involved in developing around the Salt Lake region’s transit stops are compensated for by the market response. Along with Birkhill at Fireclay, the company is constructing two more housing and business developments near the TRAX stations immediately north and south of the Murray North stop.

The first is Inverness Square, a $24 million, 120-unit project half a mile from the 53rd South TRAX station. The development, started in 2005, is nearly completed, and the two- and three-bedroom town houses, with prices starting around $170,000, are sold out, Mr. Brodsky said.

Last October, the company began developing Waverly Station, on 10 acres alongside the Meadowbrook TRAX station. The $42 million project includes 47 condos, 131 town homes and 14,000 square feet of retail and office space. Hamlet just completed the first phase — 41 two- and three-bedroom town homes of 1,500 to 1,900 square feet. All have been sold, Mr. Brodsky said.

“The fact that we are building close to the light rail station is an important amenity,” he said. “It is part of the package that also includes a combination of affordability and accessibility to a more urban setting.”

Mary Ann Downs, 22, an interior designer, moved into her $193,000 three-bedroom home at Waverly Station in February. Ms. Downs is happy to be near the TRAX system — she plans to use it this spring when the light rail connects to the new commuter line — and she also likes her neighbors.

One of them is David Bailey, 28, who works for a jewelry dealer. He bought a two-bedroom home for $205,000. He said access to the TRAX line, which he rides to basketball and football games downtown, played a part in his decision to buy. “I really feel as gas prices go up, homes near public transportation will increase in value,” he said.

North of Salt Lake City, CenterCal Properties just closed on a $2.13 million purchase of 70 acres near the new commuter rail station in Farmington, a bedroom community of 14,000 residents 13 miles north of Salt Lake City and one of nine stops on a 44-mile, $611 million line to Pleasant View that is scheduled to open in the spring of 2008.

CenterCal, based in Portland, Ore., earned a national reputation in transit-oriented design with its Gresham Station, a 130-acre, $400 million, mixed-use district that it began in 1999 along the MAX light rail line east of Portland.

Fred Bruning, the company’s president, said CenterCal planned to bring the same principles of compact, transit-focused design to its new project, called Station Park, which will be just across the Farmington rail station’s parking lot. It will consist of 700,000 square feet of retailing, 300,000 square feet of office space and 250 residential units in rental apartments and town homes.

A rendering of Station Park on the company’s Web site ( shows a district designed with three-story buildings, with shops on the ground floor and offices and homes on the floors above, surrounding a large public square with a fountain, broad sidewalks and a garden. The project’s design is a mix of European urbanism and outdoor suburban lifestyle malls.

“Compared to what is already there in Farmington, this is a lot of density,” Mr. Bruning said. “You have to take it in steps and develop density as the market becomes available. We design our projects in such a way that density can increase over time. If it’s designed well, it has a shelf life for decades.”

The design is intended to mimic urban spaces in which buildings change uses — open spaces can be filled, or buildings can become open space.

Mr. Snarr, Murray City’s development director, has similar plans for the Birkhill at Fireclay, which is priced comparably with the Waverly Station development, and for other projects he is recruiting for the city’s transit-oriented district. “People want to live in a place that’s a little more cosmopolitan,” he said. “They gain a lot. They save money on gas and housing costs. They reduce their stress because they don’t have to drive as much. And they get a chance to know their neighbors. It adds up for me.”

Saving Wetlands Pays Dividends

Saving Wetlands Pays Dividends 1200 800 Brodsky Built

Brodsky Builder UtahSaving wetlands is a good thing in itself, but making money while doing it adds to the goodness, a local company has discovered.

Jim Paraskeva, co-owner of Diversified Habitat, said the private company has been working with developers to mitigate the destruction of wetlands and then earning credits for savings wetlands from the Army Corps of Engineers, which it could then sell to other developers.

Diversified Habitat also has worked with the Nature Conservancy to preserve wetlands and recently gave Nature Conservancy 104 acres to add to its Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve west of Layton.

“We have worked with the Nature Conservancy to identify properties they wanted, but they couldn’t afford to pay more than the appraised value,” Paraskeva said. “We acquired two parcels, one 56 acres and one 48 acres, and we worked to develop wetlands mitigation banks on those properties.”

Diversified Habitat, the only private wetlands mitigation bank in Utah and one of the few in the United States, got started when owners Paraskeva and Michael Brodsky, owner of Hamlet Homes, needed wetlands mitigation for a project Hamlet was building in West Valley in 1996.

Diversified Habitats works in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers and other public agencies to develop wetland mitigation sites that provide an opportunity for developers whose projects are impacting existing wetlands to buy credits for new or improved wetlands developed by Diversified Habitat.

Diversified basically uses the “no-net-loss” of wetlands policy of the Corps of Engineers to preserve and enhance existing wetlands that meet the Corps’ standards and receives a credit for each acre. Those credits can be “banked” and then sold at a profit to developers who will be ruining existing wetlands and need the credits to keep the total number of wetlands intact and the Corps of Engineers happy.

A usual practice for Diversified Habitat is to buy wetlands and put in a series of dikes, berms and water-control structures to create and enhance wetlands. Under agreement with the Corps, Diversified monitors the lands for at least five years. At the end of the period, the Corps reviews the project and then releases Diversified from future monitoring. At that point, the company can sell the land. In the case of the donation to the Nature Conservancy, Diversified gave the 104 acres to the nature group and also $37,000 to help maintain it for the long term. The land has been added to the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve.

Chris Montague, director of conservation programs for the Nature Conservancy, said the additional 104 acres now brings the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve up to a little more than 4,000 acres and nearly 12 miles of protected shorelands.

“This new strategy for wetlands conservation has not been used all that much, but it turned out to be a good method of helping us and the private sector. They, Diversified Habitat, bought some property we wanted 10 years ago but couldn’t afford. They really improved it and created wetlands and got mitigation credit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

“They could sell the credits on the market to developers who needed to mitigate small amounts of wetlands, say one or two acres, and the Army allowed them to buy a credit or two from the Diversified mitigation bank.”

The 104 acres given to the Nature Conservancy is in the middle of the existing shorelands preserve, so it is required to keep it wetlands forever.

The Nature Conservancy has another wetlands preserve near Moab that consists of close to 1,000 acres. Montague says the group is fighting the clock as land is developed. “We’re still trying to acquire other parcels to preserve, but there will come a time when we can’t get anymore. We’re racing the clock before everything is developed.”

Diversified Habitat has one 123-acre site northwest of Salt Lake City International Airport and about 25 credits left in the bank, Paraskeva said. “That will probably be our last project and then we will go out of business. Some things have changed over the past 10 years; it’s more expensive to buy land, the Corps has made the process more difficult, but the biggest impact was the Supreme Court rulings a couple of years ago that essentially eliminated little pockets of land that was the core of our business.”