Ivory Homes deserves props for working to respond to Utah's housing crisis | Urban Living

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Ivory Homes deserves props for working to respond to Utah's housing crisis

Urban Living

Posted By on September 27, 2023, 4:00 AM

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Local builders have seen a silver lining in Utah's housing crisis. Whereas new residential construction almost ground to a halt during the pandemic due to extreme materials shortages (lumber, drywall, steel, etc.), homebuilding is back with a vengeance as builders have adjusted and are offering incentives to woo buyers back.

Offerings of lower mortgage rates and upgrades in building materials at no cost are common now with many of our large and small developers.

I have to give props to our largest homebuilder in the state—Ivory Homes. They have built more than 23,000 single-family homes and 3,000 apartment units in 70 communities in and around the Intermountain West, with 200-plus unique home designs. CEO Clark Ivory has pledged that beginning this year, all their new builds will be moving to EnergyStar ratings, and appliances with smart thermostats and smart sprinkler controllers added at no cost.

What is Ivory Homes worth? Ivory Homes' annual revenue is roughly $490 million, according to the website Zippia. A charitable foundation created by Ivory Homes and FJ Management—the company that owns the Maverik and Kum and Go chains of convenience stores, among other things—have committed to work together to build 850 rent-subsidized apartments in seven Utah cities.

Those cities include Salt Lake City, South Jordan, Draper, Magna, Lehi, Francis (in Summit County) and Park City, in a project the two groups are calling "Housing for Impact"

Many of the new housing options will be built near community centers for seniors and other groups in need. One example is a 2.23 acre site of the Liberty Wells Center at 707 S. 400 East in SLC. That building will be bulldozed and replaced with 36 townhomes and 30 apartments and called "Innovation Park" with three-fourths of the units considered moderate-income housing at market rates.

Other projects will include 200 apartments near Vista Station in Draper, more than 200 units in Lehi near the new Primary Children's hospital, 138 apartments for seniors along the South Jordan Parkway, 300-ish small homes and townhomes in Magna, 15 homes in Park City and homes and apartments in Francis along State Route 32. They will also focus on units built with all-electric HVAC, greener appliances and waterwise landscaping.

To generate ideas for affordable housing, Ivory Homes last week sponsored its annual 24-hour Hack-a-House contest for student designs. Winning applicants were awarded a prize from profit and nonprofit companies and government groups.

Yes, Utah is in crisis mode when it comes to affordable housing, and so I give a nod to these folks trying to make an impact on the issue and pay it forward for years to come.

About The Author

Babs De Lay

Babs De Lay

A full-time broker/owner of Urban Utah Homes and Estates, Babs De Lay serves on the Salt Lake City Historic Landmark Commission. A writer and golfer, you'll find them working as a staff guardian at the Temple at Burning Man each year.

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