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The Granary District in Salt Lake City is perfect for art lovers and beer lovers

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Salt Lake’s Granary District was once the heart of the city’s manufacturing, processing and storage industries. But now, as it transforms beyond its industrial roots, the Granary District is becoming a thriving artsy neighborhood known for street art and craft breweries thanks to a unique funding program from Salt Lake Redevelopment. Agency.

Originally created as a pilot program to encourage the reuse and revitalization of the unique stock of warehouses and industrial buildings in the Granary district, the Adaptive Reuse program allows businesses to borrow up to $200,000 to redevelop industrial buildings into thriving commercial spaces. It is also the only fundraising program of its kind in the city.

“[The Adaptive Reuse program] provides forgivable loans to facilitate the conversion of vacant, underutilized or economically disadvantaged buildings to a new, more productive purpose. The program provides matching loan funds to offset the costs of bringing renovated buildings up to building codes,” says Kort Utley, senior project manager at the Salt Lake Redevelopment Agency.

The Granary District Special Loan Program has been in place since 2017 and has funded four projects so far. “Before the pandemic hit, we averaged about one project a year. Looking ahead, it looks like we’ll give out at least one loan this year depending on the interest we see.

We have a good amount of financing available and we have the ability to partner with multiple eligible owners,” says Utley.

Two of the four projects funded by the Granary’s loan program are craft breweries, bringing the number of breweries in the roughly one-square-mile neighborhood to four. TF Brewing and Fisher Brewing Company are both located in renovated and formerly underutilized industrial spaces. These two breweries are joined by Epic Brewing and Kiitos Brewery, making the neighborhood a haven for beer lovers.

But it’s not just about breweries and beers, creatives and artists have started popping up in the Granary District too.

Atmosphere Studios is one of the members of the creative industry that saw momentum in the Granary neighborhood and used the funding to renovate a 66,000 square foot warehouse into a new headquarters. The space also includes an art gallery that houses traveling art exhibitions, the most recent being “Beyond Van Gogh”.

Other artistic projects are also gaining ground. For example, four years ago, the RDA and the Salt Lake City Arts Council teamed up to create a series of murals focusing on the history of the Granary District.

“Fueled by $150,000 in RDA funds, the Granary District Mural Grant Project began with a public invitation to artists to partner with owners of industrial buildings in the Granary District project area of ​​the GDR to come up with artwork for an exterior wall,” says Utley.

The project resulted in 11 new murals created by 15 artists, totaling over 6,200 square feet of mural art. While this is a unique investment compared to the types of projects funds are typically allocated to, the RDA hopes these murals will positively impact the pedestrian experience in the area.

As creativity and excitement grows in the area, Utley says he expects to see more people living and working in the area, especially as several new mixed-use developments are completed. in the neighborhood. However, he acknowledges that additional accommodation is needed.

Like many other neighborhoods in Utah, the Granary District currently suffers from a shortage of affordable housing, which could be a major impediment to the growth of a neighborhood that caters to workers in the arts and culinary industries. .

One of the objectives set for the Granary district by the RDA in 1998 was to contribute to a high quality, diverse and income-balanced housing stock of medium to high density. While the Granary Adaptive Reuse Lending Program has yet to fund housing, the RDA has helped fund the Artspace Commons housing project.

Artspace’s live workspace was created on what was once a scrap metal recycling and storage lot. Although these units provide affordable housing, many more units are still needed to provide enough housing for residents of the Granary neighborhood.

While the housing shortage may slow the trajectory of this budding arts and culinary district, nothing can stop the Granary District’s momentum as it transforms into one of Utah’s most artsy neighborhoods. perfect for creatives and beer lovers.

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