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Outdoor Sports Retailer to Build Huge Campus in SLC’s Granary District

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – From the outside, it doesn’t look like much. Overgrown weeds, crumbling brick and faded signs. An old, even odd place for a retail shop.

But for people like Nathan Christianson, those details are part of what makes the Granary District unique. “I think we fit the vibe and the feel of our little city here…Eclectic. It’s fun.”

He says people often think the buildings are abandoned. But inside the aging brick at the northwest corner of 400 West and 700 South in Salt Lake City, Christianson says, “There couldn’t be more business going on.”

He would know. He lives nearby and is an employee at L9 Sports, which has been in the neighborhood for about a decade.

Most of that time has been spent in the old brick and wooden building.

“It’s just a fun building to walk around in,” Christianson says. And he hopes it will stay that way, even as the ski and bike shop prepares for big changes on the block and in the building.

“I mean it’s inevitable.”

Seattle-based outdoor and action sports retailer evo is headed to the Granary District for what it calls “its most ambitious project to date.” A 100,000 square foot campus, complete with a hotel, restaurants, an art gallery and a skate park.

“Our vision is to create a place for the community, bringing ethos-driven businesses together along with customers that share our passion for the outdoors and all of the cultural elements that surround the lifestyle,” said Bryce Phillips, Founder and CEO of evo. “It’ the sum of its parts that’s so exciting—a seamless experience, celebrating the intersection of our shared love of the outdoors and urban environment.”

“I think they want to see it grow but they want to keep it the same,” Christianson said, though he is not personally involved in the development of the project. “I mean that’s always the problem, right? Don’t change it. Just help it.”

L9 Sports is notifying its customer that the shop will be moving to a temporary location nearby in August. But the shop is expected to return at the end of construction, with a little less space and a new competitor for a neighbor.

In a statement, evo said “Existing tenant L9 Sports has been in close collaboration with evo on this project and will remain an integral member of the campus, complementing evo’s flagship location next door.”

Still, Christianson isn’t worried. “It’ll be fun to see more things come in that will draw more people than are just working or living in this area…I’m excited about the potential for new businesses to come in, new experiences really.”

He just hopes the new businesses don’t change the neighborhood too much.

“I hope that it stays the same. I hope that we keep that feel..”

According to evo, local Salt Lake firm, Lloyd Architects will design the buildings, the oldest of which was built in 1926.

“We believe in retaining the integrity of these historic buildings, which have such soul and history,” said Tommy Trause, who is leading the project for evo. “They just don’t make them like that anymore.”

The company is working to finish the project and open its doors by the fall of 2020.




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