The Granary District

Creating walkable, urban, human-centered neighborhoods in the Granary District.

RECAP: 12/3/13 Granary District Coffee Klatch

 

Our last klatch was held on a snowy, stormy evening Tuesday the 2nd at Sustainble Startups in Art Space Commons. It was great to get together over coffee, and drinks to recap the first season (!) of Granary Row and ideas for the next season.

Those in attendance
Matt Swindle, Imbue Design
Sean Murphy - Salt Lake City Corporation
Brook Oswald - U of U MRED Program
Lexi Paparo - Kentlands Initiative Intern
Christian Harrison - Kentlands Initiative
Juliana - Trufle Creative
Cassidy - Trufle Creative
Thomas Bath - Parallel Lines Studios
Jenn Blum -
Stacey Foster - Mineral & Matter
James Alfandre - Kentlands Initiative

 

We recapped Granary Row's first season starting with the neighborhood goals it achieved:

  • The right-of-way was used more efficiently through creating community space, providing needed services and creating a more walkable scale.
  • There were NINE Granary Row container vendors, THREE of which were start-ups. TWO of these businesses have signed leases in permanent space, and ONE is looking for permanent space.
  • An automobile-centric space that allowed pedestrians was turned into a pedestrian-centric space that allowed automobiles (video below).
  • Over 12,000 people came down to Granary Row and the neighborhood.
  • The neighborhood earned a lot of exposure through earned press with articles in Planetizen, Inhabitat and Deseret News to name a few. Granary Row also won the AIA Utah Urban Design and Honor Awards

All findings will be finalized and compiled into a report that will be submitted to the Redevelopment Agency and available for download.

(Video of auto and Pedestrian interactions at Granary Row)

Do you think Granary Row was a good use of the right-of-way? Answer the Yes/No poll here.

Then we talked about what the next season for Granary Row would be, which in the minds of Kentlands Initiative was to take a year off and focus on making a semi-permanent (5-10 year installation) Granary Row starting in 2015. The reason behind this is it takes too much money to do temporarily in the middle of the street, so if Granary Row is going to happen again in the middle of the street, it would be more efficient to do for a longer period of time (5-10 years), which, would negate the "temporary" status,  making the financing, permitting and build-out longer and more intensive. So Kentlands was looking at 2015 for these reasons.

After presenting this plan, we received a LOT of push back from the Crowd who were in attendance, which was GREAT because we were thinking of doing it one way and the Crowd wanted to go in a completely different direction, so that's what we're doing! Although, we're still subject to City approval, permitting and fundraising for another temporary season, though on a smaller scale this time. Nothing impossible :)

The Crowd does not want to see Granary Row take a year off. It was expressed that we already have the containers, so why not use them somehow. We also have a property owners who has expressed interest in hosting Granary Row on his property on the corner of 500 West and 800 South. This will probably be the location if 2014 is going to happen based on time. Some other ideas for future locations that were mentioned are under the viaduct on 6th and 6th, the the scrap metal yard on 500 West and 700 South, the 9Line and even the Fleet Block — these are just brainstormed ideas, and we'll need to qualify them with the property owners.

Click here for a map of locations.

As Matt reminded everyone: "It's a shipping container, it's supposed to move around. That's what's fun about it!"

The ideas and feelings discussed are:

  • The temporary Granary Row should be reinvented each season in different places in the neighborhood
  • The beer garden structure changes and goes out to a design competition each season
  • Don't want to diminish the brand of Granary Row by taking a year off
  • "I love the fact that Granary Row was temporary and that the Granary District is building itself through temporary installations as its growing and morphing..." (Jenn Blum)

On the flip-side of keeping a temporary, nomadic Granary Row happening each season, the Crowd didn't want to lose the momentum of using the right-of-ways and how important that is for the future of the neighborhood, whether it's micro retail, residential space and gardens gardens. Some ideas to continue the momentum for the right-of-way of the first Granary Row location are:

  • Garden/ urban farming space
  • Art installations
  • Seating and vegetation
  • Combination of all or some of the above

 

So, for those who couldn't make it to the klatch, what do YOU think? Should we shoot for a 2014 season? What temporary locations do you like best? Any other suggestions?

Another klatch is scheduled for January to continue the discussion. Stay tuned for more details!

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Views: 251

Comment by Pete Federman on December 11, 2013 at 3:15pm

This Memphis, TN concept may work as Granary matures:

Food trucks in Memphis on permanent parking pads.

Called Truck Stop, the food trucks will encircle a brick-and-mortar bar in East Memphis. The bar will serve the drinks; the trucks will serve the food. It gives local food trucks a dependable avenue and venue to do business.The Truck Stop, a new food-service concept coming to Midtown, will combine a brick-and-mortar restaurant with space for food trucks.brg3s

The Truck Stop, a new food-service concept coming to Midtown, will combine a brick-and-mortar restaurant with space for food trucks.

 

The latest design for the Truck Stops exterior

The latest design for the Truck Stop's exterior

The Truck Stop is a hybrid concept that combines a restaurant serving small plates, adult beverages, and desserts with parking space for a rotating cast of three food trucks. Diners place their order for any menu item at the restaurant or from the food trucks' menus at one counter so no one has to stand in line at a food truck. The trucks will stay on the lot for several hours at a time, and when they leave, other food trucks will take their place.

The indoor dining area

The indoor dining area

There are plans for an indoor dining area and a patio seating area in the back facing the existing rail line. The restaurant will be created using 12 to 16 metal shipping containers that will be cut up to create open spaces and areas for natural lighting. Customer parking on the small lot will be kept to a minimum (only 16 parking spaces) to allow for a more pedestrian-friendly design.

Comment by Pete Federman on December 11, 2013 at 3:49pm
Comment by James Alfandre on December 12, 2013 at 1:08am

Thanks for sharing, Pete. Looks like a neat project! I wonder if there are any oddly shaped, forgotten lots, that could benefit from an idea like this.

Comment by Tim Wallace on December 13, 2013 at 6:27pm

I REALLY like the idea of putting it under the 9th South viaduct- you get some built in protection that could have made a few nights from this past season a little more bearable.

I can't help but be a little concerned about moving it too far away from some of the main thoroughfares like 6th South and 3rd west or West Temple. You get some free marketing by putting it in areas on the border of the district that get high traffic that help promote more attendance. On the other hand, part of the whole initiative is bringing more lifeblood back to the district, so having visitors travel further into the heart can encourage more involvement in refreshing the area. It's a great area with TONS of potential for any type of development and hopefully more people can see that and want to make a difference. 

So the point of my comment? No point at all. I just want to keep Granary Row going every year. Can we see where development goes year by year and use it as a tool to rejuvenate different areas?

On a side note- do we know vacancy rates for any of the properties in the area? I'm interested in finding out more of the current resident/company demographics. 

Comment by James Alfandre on December 16, 2013 at 12:46am

Tim- the viaducts are an interesting option, and like you mentioned, could be useful in keeping the rain out during our monsoon seasons in the summer.

Having it on 3rd west was great for exposure, and we might lose some of that by bringing it further into the District, but like you said, that could be a good thing. :)

Thank you for your opinions — it's great to hear the support for doing it again next year!

We have had some info on vacancy rates in the neighborhood, but don't have any current info at the moment.

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