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Developing Balance: Local shoe shop moving Sugar House store

Thursday, May 17, 2012794 views

The New Balance Store at 2236 South 1300 East is working toward changing locations. With the lease almost up, the owner has decided to change locations instead of renewing.

New Balance storeowner Scott Spurrier has put money down on the property of 2818 South Highland Drive even though the area is zoned as residential business instead of commercial. The New Balance Store is looking for a conditional use and planned development status.

“This would allow us to build the proposed building but would restrict much of what we would do if the property were already zoned commercial,” Spurrier said.

The intention of zoning the area as residential business is to keep the residential feel of the neighborhood.

“The [Salt Lake City] planning commission does allow for some flexibility as long as the developer shows that it will be a benefit to the community,” said planning commissioner Casey Stewart.

This proved to be the case, when Spurrier received approval from the Salt Lake Planning Committee to build on the new property.

There are two houses on the property which would need to be demolished. One of them is an old meth house.

“We were concerned about demolishing this house, but the nice thing is that the health department already had it remediated,” Spurrier said. The house on the north end of the property still has a tenant who is renting the building.

“The current property owner has no plans to improve the property and is in favor of our project,” Spurrier said.

The Sugar House Community Council has given its tentative approval for New Balance to build on the property.

“My only concern is that the plan looks like any other strip mall. I’d like to see someone do something creative out there,” Sugar House Land Use Chair Judi Short said.

New Balance made a few changes to its initial design by adding rounded corners to the exterior of the upcoming building. They also made a change in materials. The building will have bricks on the exterior instead of rocks. The SHCC felt that this would fit into the neighborhood better, Spurrier said.

The other concern about New Balance’s choice of locations was traffic. The council refused a fast food restaurant in the past due to concerns about congestion.

“We sell a low traffic, but high volume product,” Spurrier said, explaining that the store wouldn’t get the same traffic that a fast food restaurant would bring in.

The store will be the second largest New Balance store in the country. It will have 23 parking spaces and a store within the store, which sells higher end shoes.

“I’m excited about the store; with what I’ve seen so far,” Sugar House Community Council Secretary Cabot Nelson said.

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