City selects local developer for redevelopment of Barnes Bank site

Conceptual rendering of the southwest corner of The Exchange. Image courtesy Salt Lake City.

Residential and commercial space is coming to the Civic Campus.  On Thursday, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced her selection of Downtown SLC Partners LLC’s request for proposal (RFP) for the Barnes Bank 400 South Project in downtown Salt Lake City.

The selected proposal, called The Exchange, will cover 2.24 acres on the 300 East block of 400 South. The property formerly held Barnes Bank and Salt Lake Roasting Company.  The project calls for two buildings with a mix of housing, retail, coworking and incubator space.

The site sits adjacent to a TRAX line and represents the city’s decades-long plan to bring more residential and commercial development to the area surrounding the Civic Campus, anchored by the Public Safety Building and the City Library.

Site plan for The Exchange. Image courtesy Salt Lake City.

“The Exchange, as endcap to Salt Lake’s iconic, multi-block civic square brought a unique responsibility to the design,” said Chris Parker, Giv Development Group executive director, in a statement. “We hoped to create a place that lived up to that, one where people from all incomes and backgrounds could enjoy living, working, and being in.”

Downtown SLC Partners is a joint venture between local developers, Giv Development Group and Domain Companies, a New York City-based firm.  The Exchange will be the third mixed-income project by Giv Development Group in Salt Lake City and Domain Companies’ first project in Utah.

The Exchange will include a nine-story and five-story building, with 412 residential units, 20,00 square feet of ground-floor retail.  The project was designed by KTGY Architecture + Planning and will be mixed-income with 196 affordable units and 216 market-rate apartments.  The nine-story building will consist of seven floors of residential space above a two-story parking podium and ground-floor retail that will front 400 South.  The ground floor retail will be anchored by an international food hall and marketplace in partnership with the International Rescue Committee’s Spice Kitchen business incubator program.

The five-story building will consist of micro residential units above a parking podium and the “The Shop at Salt Lake City,” a 30,000-square foot co-working and business accelerator space.  According to the mayor’s office, The Shop will offer amenities and programming aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship, small business development and community engagement.

A public plaza will separate two wings of the nine-story building that will occupy the northwest corner of the block.  The plaza will include pedestrian level art and amenities.  The five-story building will occupy the mid-block portion just east of Blair Street.  Both buildings will be built to energy efficient standards.

The Exchange is the second mixed-use and mixed-income project in public/private development.  Two blocks to the north of The Exchange is the site of the proposed Violin School Commons.  That project, which includes the adaptive reuse of the former Public Safety Building (Northwest Pipeline), will include two new construction buildings and conversion of the Northwest Pipeline building into a mixed-use residential building.

The Violin School Commons will consist of 248 residential units that will serve a range of income levels, from market rate to supportive housing.  The development team consists of Cowboy Partners and Form Development.  The developers are working to secure low-income housing tax credits before breaking ground.

“This exciting project will help us increase quality, affordable housing and grow local businesses,” said Mayor Biskupski in a statement. “A strong and vibrant Salt Lake City absolutely depends on diverse and truly affordable housing opportunities.”

The developers hope to break ground on The Exchange, fall of 2018.

Conceptual rendering of the southwest corner of The Exchange. Image courtesy Salt Lake City.
Site plan for the ground floor of The Exchange. Image courtesy Salt Lake City.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at