Stalled housing project resumes, Orem residents eager to be rid of ‘eyesore’

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OREM, Utah – A huge building that has been sitting unfinished in Orem for some time is now back on track for completion but under a new name.

Midtown Village on State Street was a premiere housing facility conceived more than a decade ago, but when the economic recession hit, the project ground to a halt.

But new developers have a plan to revive the project and bring it to completion under the name Midtown 360.

Paul Ritchie of Ritchie Group said residents have not been happy about the unfinished building, which some feel is an eyesore.

“A lot of frustration, a lot of negativity associated with the project,” Ritchie said.

The facility was meant to feature upscale condos as well as retail and office space, and it’s located in the heart of Orem where many people live, work, play and shop.

Ritchie said a lack of funds stalled the project.

“It was in litigation for over three years to get cleaned up,” he said. “It was a very difficult project for anyone to get their arms around.”

The new plan calls for apartments instead of condos but still includes retail and office space. There will be a total of 550 luxury apartments and 60,000 square feet of retail space.

“Because the project failed, and went through bankruptcy and the whole history of the project, we’re able to deliver a product that is substantially nicer than most apartment projects will be and can b--can afford to be.”

Some apartments in the complex’s south tower are completed and occupied, but work is ongoing on the north tower, which some said is bad for the scenery.

Orem Mayor Richard Brunst said: “For the last year in a half, I've had to answer questions every day as a candidate and as the mayor on, ‘What’s happening with the eye sore in Orem?’”

Brunst said he is eager to see the work finished.

“It'll be a beautiful project,” he said. “I believe it will be a jewel in Orem.”

The project is expected to be completed by 2016.