Retail space in Sugar House is about to get a facelift. The Shopko just west of 1300 East closed in January, and developers are ready to break ground on a project to bring walkable green space, office towers and apartments to the retail center.
Developers surveyed more than 2,500 people who live, work and shop in the Sugar House neighborhood to find out what the area needs. To Sugar House residents, green space and the area’s quirky character are essential to the neighborhood’s vibrancy, says Sentinel Development CEO Colby Durnin.
"What we really did not want to do was create a sea of concrete," Durnin says.
Construction crews will start demolishing the empty Shopko building in a matter of weeks. They’re planning to put two office towers and an apartment building in the 9.5-acre parcel and reopen access to Stringham Avenue by 2019.
"Right now, Stringham dead-ends into the back of the Shopko,” Durnin says. “It used to connect prior to Shopko being built, so a major part of our plan is to reconnect. That will give a new gateway, a new connectivity onto I-80."
The plan is for Stringham to have wide pedestrian sidewalks, greenery, and benches reminiscent of nearby Sugar House and Fairmont Parks.
That will include "walkways, some waiting areas and amenities that help integrate it so that you get a solid flow between the parks," says Durnin.
He says nearly 300,000 square feet of office space will bring more daytime use to the area’s shops and restaurants, while greenery and public art will help preserve the character of the neighborhood.