Two major retailers have created a new outdoor sports center in one of Salt Lake’s hottest areas: the Granary District.
Utah-based Level Nine Sports and Seattle-based evo, which both sell outdoor sports gear and apparel, have renovated a 100,000 square foot building at 660 S. 400 W., Salt Lake City.
It’s now the home of evo Campus Salt Lake, a collaboration of outdoor sports retailers and recreation providers.
In addition to retail locations for evo and Level Nine, it includes 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 includes a rooftop bar, local roaster Publik Coffee and art created by Salt Lake artists in all of its 50 rooms.
Campus Salt Lake’s grand opening was June 4, but the build out is not yet complete.The Market Hall will feature a variety of “interesting, innovative and downright cool businesses,” according to Campus Salt Lake’s website.
“The term that we use is ‘rising tide,’” said Rebecca Heard, VP of brand, marketing and e-commerce for evo. “If we can have a group of complementary businesses come together, [they’re] not in competition [with] each other. Ultimately, it’s just a better experience for the customers.”
The building consists of five previously disjointed warehouses, with one section of the building designated as a National Historic Landmark, per Campus Salt Lake’s website.
Sean Van Horn, an account manager with public relations company Backbone Media, said the Campus Salt Lake team confirmed the building is registered as historic and is listed in the National Historic Landmark database as the Salt Lake Rapid Transit Complex under the address 404 W. 400 S., Salt Lake City.
The National Historic Landmark database lists the building at 404 W. 400 S. as the W.P. Fuller Paint Company and Office Warehouse. No entry exists for the Salt Lake Rapid Transit Complex.
Additionally, 404 W. 400 S. is located about two and a half blocks north of Campus Salt Lake’s 660 S. 400 W. address.
When asked, Van Horn restated the company is “comfortable confirming that [the building] has been registered as a National Historic Building, or something very similar to that.”
Silos and rail lines
The Granary District, where Campus Salt Lake is located, was once an industrial area built around Salt Lake’s railroad corridor.
Located a few blocks south of downtown and bounded by 600 S., West Temple and 1-15, the area gets its name from massive grain silos, some of which still stand, according to Visit Salt Lake. It was once home to Salt Lake’s oldest flour mills.
The area fell into disrepair when the rail lines moved to the west, but has since attracted musicians, artists and restaurateurs.
It features murals by local artists 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, and that’s what people love about it.
It would have been cheaper to knock the building down and start from scratch, he added, but preserving the area’s history was important to them.
“When you walk into our space, you’ll see the bricks, its wooden timbers, and you’ll actually see someone’s name inscribed on [a] brick from 1932,” Lamb said. “It’s crazy to think that it’s been around for that long, and we’re… not only preserving it, but revitalizing it.
Collaboration not competition
Lamb said Campus Salt Lake began with an invitation to breakfast.
Bryce Phillips, evo CEO, 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 ton of respect” for Phillips’ company, and so suggested a collaboration between evo and Level Nine.
He invited Phillips to see Level Nine’s Salt Lake location, housed in the building that is now Campus Salt Lake. (Level Nine Sports has three other locations in Orem, Millcreek and Ogden.)
“I said, ‘Let’s just join forces’,” Lamb said. “‘Our brands are overlapping, but they’re unique enough to where we can actually offer more value to the customer.’” (Level Nine specializes in skiing, snowboarding and bicycling gear, while evo sells similar products and also water sports and camping gear.)
Heard said Campus Salt Lake was made possible in part thanks to a historic tax credit program.
A 20% tax credit is available for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings that are determined through the National Park Service to be “certified historic structures,” according to the National Park Service’s website.
The National Park Service approves approximately 1,200 projects a year, leveraging nearly $6 billion annually in private investment into the rehabilitation of historic buildings.
To qualify for the tax credit, the building must be preserved and restored to maintain its historic integrity, Heard said.
Campus Salt Lake’s renovations included a structural retrofit, new infrastructure and new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
“We worked closely with the National Park Service to integrate the new uses in the building in a manner that left the historic structure exposed in order to give new life to the building,” she said.
She also emphasized that Lake Union Partners, a Seattle-based real estate developer, was a crucial partner in Campus Salt Lake’s development.
Lamb said that Campus Salt Lake will make a significant economic impact due to its “attractive product mixes,” memberships generated by the climbing gym, hotel stays and food and drink spots.
“We’re not talking double, triple (growth). We’re talking 10 (to) 15 times what existed before,” he said. “This is an organic, evergreen property that isn’t just a quick retail store, but is one that addresses a myriad of needs for a large consumer base.”