Developer wants to convert Costume Building into apartments

A long vacant parcel may find a new use if a developer gets planned development approval from the city.   Developers, Salt Lake Costume Properties, Inc., want to convert the former Salt Lake City Costume building on the southeast corner of the 1100 East and 1700 South into a 19-unit residential building.

The property has been vacant since around 2005 and is zoned Residential Business (RB) which allows for buildings up to 30 feet in height.  The developers are going through the planned development process to be able to build up to 35 feet.  Order to the project’s architect, James B. Glascock, the current building is just over 33 feet.

The historic building has already gone through several lives and iterations.  The south part of the building was built in the late 1800’s as a lumber yard building.  In the early 20th Century, Westminister College purchased the building and built the north end which was used as a chapel.  In the late 1940’s the building became the headquarters of the Costume Company which included the addition of two floors.

“With expansive ceilings, state of the art appliances, yet a 1920’s vintage look, we will provide quaint living in the heart of Salt Lake’s emerging most sought after neighborhood,” wrote Glascock in documents submitted to the planning department.

The building’s exterior shell will be preserved, the developers are requesting the height increase to be able to adjust roof and ceiling heights.  The developers plan to remove the hard stucco that covers the top two floors and will instead utilize a brick veneer for the all three levels.  The current building has very few windows.  The proposed conversion will add windows and glass doors on all three floors to increase transparency.  The top two floors will include exterior balconies.  The developers plan to retain the iconic knight sign and incorporate it into the building’s renovation.

The building currently has three cell towers on the roof.  The developers plan to replace the three cell towers with two water towers that would serve as cell equipment.  Additionally, the RB zone only allows for 4 inch-wide decorative balconies, under the planned development request the developers want to build 12-inch balconies.

The proposed 19 units will be predominantly one bedroom apartments.  The ground floor will have four units, three of which will be live/work units and one loft unit.  The ground floor units will be walk-up units and will front 1100 East.  The second and third floors will have eight and seven units respectively.  The two, two-bedroom units will occupy the third floor.

The developers also plan to retain the adjacent surface parking lot that will be used for tenants.

The city will hold an open house on Thursday, August 17 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the City & County Building 4th Floor.

Landscape plans for the Salt Lake Costume Building development. Image courtesy Salt Lake City public documents.

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