Two major retailers have built a new outdoor sports center in one of Salt Lake’s hottest areas, the Granary District.
Utah’s Level Nine Sports and Seattle’s evo, both of which sell outdoor sports equipment and apparel, renovated a 100,000 square foot building at 660 S. 400 W., Salt Lake City.
It is now home to the evo Campus Salt Lake, a collaboration of outdoor sports retailers and leisure providers.
In addition to retail stores for evo and Level Nine, it includes the Bouldering Project, an indoor climbing gym; All Together Skatepark, an indoor-outdoor skate park created by evo; and the dog-friendly evo Hotel, which opened in early February. The hotel features a rooftop bar, local roastery Publik Coffee, and artwork by Salt Lake artists in all of its 50 rooms.
The opening of the Salt Lake campus took place on June 4th, but the expansion is not yet complete. The market hall will feature a variety of “interesting, innovative, and downright cool shops,” according to the Salt Lake campus website.
“The term we use is ‘rising tide,'” said Rebecca Heard, evo’s vice president of brand, marketing and e-commerce. “If we can bring together a group of complementary companies, [they’re] not in competition [with] mutual. At the end of the day, it’s just a better experience for customers.”
The building consists of five previously separate warehouses, part of the building of which is designated a National Historic Landmark, according to Campus Salt Lake’s website.
A search of the list of National Historic Landmarks and the database of the National Register of Historic Places reveals no records for 660 S. 400 W., Salt Lake City.
Sean Van Horn, account manager at public relations firm Backbone Media, said the Salt Lake campus team has confirmed that the building is registered as historic and on the National Historic Landmark database as the Salt Lake Rapid Transit Complex at 404 W .400 listed is S., Salt Lake City.
The National Historic Landmark Database lists the building at 404 W. 400 S. as the WP Fuller Paint Company and Office Warehouse. There is no entry for the Salt Lake Rapid Transit Complex.
Also, 404 W. 400 S. is located about two and a half blocks north of 660 S. 400 W. on the Salt Lake campus.
Warren Lloyd is a founding partner of Lloyd Architects, the lead architect for the Salt Lake Campus project. He said the property was associated with multiple names and that a few different addresses were used in connection with the Rehabilitation Tax Credit process, including the Utah Light and Railway Co. Storage Building.
“Because the property is a contributing/eligible structure in the historic district of the Salt Lake Warehouse National Register, it does not have an individual listing on the National Register,” he wrote in an email.
Historic status of the property was completed on May 9, 2022 under the historic property name Salt Lake Rapid Transit Complex at 404 W. 700 S. Lloyd said.
The National Registry nomination for the Warehouse District is available at bit.ly/3treDkA.
silos and railway lines
The Granary District, where the Salt Lake campus is located, was once an industrial area built around the Salt Lake rail corridor.
The area is a few blocks south of downtown and bounded by 600 S., West Temple and 1-15. The area gets its name from massive grain elevators, some of which are still standing, according to Visit Salt Lake. Salt Lake’s oldest flour mills were once located here.
The area fell into disrepair when the rail lines moved west, but has since attracted musicians, artists and restaurateurs.
The Granary District is now home to Kilby Court, RubySnap Fresh Cookies, Kiitos Brewing, Fisher Brewing, Frida Bistro, Square Kitchen and more.
It features murals by local artists such as Josh Scheuerman, Jacob Nielson, Cara Jean Means, and others.
Level Nine Sports CEO Mitch Lamb said the Granary District is unlike anywhere else in Salt Lake City, and that’s what people love about it.
It would have been cheaper to tear down the building and start from scratch, he added, but it’s important to them to preserve the area’s history.
“When you enter our space, you see the bricks, the wooden beams and you will actually see someone’s name [a] Brick from 1932,” Lamb said. “It’s crazy to think that it’s been around for so long and we’re not just preserving it, we’re reviving it.
collaboration, not competition
According to Lamb, the Salt Lake campus began with an invitation to breakfast.
Bryce Phillips, CEO of evo, told Lamb evo was looking for a new brick-and-mortar location in the Salt Lake City area.
Lamb said he’d always had “a lot of respect” for Phillips’ company, so he suggested a collaboration between evo and Level Nine.
He invited Phillips to tour the Salt Lake City location of Level Nine, housed in the building that is now the Salt Lake campus. (Level Nine Sports has three other locations in Orem, Millcreek and Ogden.)
“I said, ‘Let’s just join forces,'” Lamb said. “‘Our brands overlap, but they’re unique enough to actually offer more value to the customer.'” (Level Nine specializes in ski, snowboard and bike gear, while evo sells similar products as well as water sports and camping gear. )
According to Heard, the Salt Lake campus was made possible in part thanks to a historic tax credit program.
A 20% tax credit is available for the rehabilitation of historic, income-generating buildings that are classified by the National Park Service as “Certified Historic Buildings,” according to the National Park Service website.
The National Park Service approves approximately 1,200 projects per year and mobilizes nearly $6 billion in private investment annually to restore historic buildings.
To qualify for the tax credit, the building must be preserved and restored to maintain its historical integrity, Heard said.
Renovations at the Salt Lake campus included a structural upgrade, new infrastructure, and new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
“We worked closely with the National Park Service to integrate the new uses into the building in a way that exposed the historical structure to breathe new life into the building,” she said.
She also emphasized that Lake Union Partners, a Seattle-based real estate developer, is a key partner in the development of the Salt Lake campus.
Lamb said the Salt Lake campus will have a significant economic impact because of its “attractive product mixes,” memberships generated through the climbing gym, hotel stays, and food and beverage outlets.
“We’re not talking double, triple (growth) here. We’re talking about 10 (to) 15 times what existed before,” he said. “This is an organic, evergreen property that is not just a quick retail outlet, but one that serves a variety of needs for a large consumer base.”