New business coming to the Granary District

Rendering of the south entrance to Atmosphere Studios on 700 South.
Rendering of the south entrance to Atmosphere Studios on 700 South.

Life has returned to a large, formerly vacant warehouse in the Granary District neighborhood in Salt Lake.  The Salt Lake City Planning Commission approved last week a conditional industrial assembly use for the new operational headquarters of Atmosphere Studios LLC, a professional services firm that specializes in the creation of branded environments for exhibits, trade shows and other events.

Atmosphere needed the conditional use approval because a portion of the project includes a staging and assembly area which is considered as “industrial assembly” under city code.  Atmosphere Studios began to move into their new 53,000 square-foot space at 326 W 700 South in January.

“This area (the Granary) is accelerating,” said Tom Jennings, the founder and general partner of Atmosphere Studios.  “I am looking forward to the metamorphosis that is happening here.”

Atmosphere Studios spent the last two decades in an industrial park in Murray.  As the company has grown, a second storage area was needed with the company leasing storage space in West Valley.  The move to the Granary District will allow all business operations to be under one roof.

Site plans for Atmosphere Studios.
Site plans for Atmosphere Studios.

The new space in the Granary will provide the company nearly 10,000 more square feet of work area than their previous spaces in Murray and West Valley combined.  Of the warehouse’s 53,000 square feet, 30,000 will be dedicated to storage of exhibit materials along the northern portion of the building.  The south end of the building that fronts 700 South will consist of 5,500 square feet of office space and roughly 3,000 square feet of event space.   The loading doors that front 700 South will be replaced with large glass doors that will let in more light and assuage the current industrial look.

Jennings was drawn to the Granary by its proximity to downtown and his large Salt Lake client base.

“Here we can develop our own personality,” said Jennings.  “We want to be one of the anchors in the Granary to draw people in.”

It is auspicious for a company that specializes in “pop-up retail” and temporary event space to be based on the same block that was home to 2013’s Granary Row, a pop-up retail and entertainment space made up of shipping container storefronts along 700 South between 300 and 400 West.

Adjacent to Atmosphere Studios is the site of a proposed microbrewery that was approved by the planning commission last November.  The microbrewery will be developed by Alvie Carter, the owner of Kilby Court, a small concert venue less than a block away at 750 Kilby Court (between 300 and 400 West off 700 South).

“Momentum is picking up in the neighborhood, and it’s the momentum that we like to see — building by building,” wrote James Alfandre about the project for the Granary District blog.

Atmosphere Studios also owns two adjacent smaller buildings just west of the main building’s 700 South entrance.  According to Jennings, the company plans to lease both buildings to businesses that “will add to the community.”  Jennings also plans to lease a portion of the warehouse that fronts 300 West.  Jennings would like to see that space be a cafe, corner store or a restaurant.

The warehouse was formerly owned by the Newspaper Agency Corp, the agency responsible for printing and advertising for the both The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News.  The agency used the warehouse to store the large rolls of paper used in printing the newspapers.  The warehouse had been vacant for nearly eight years before Atmosphere moved in last month.

Jennings anticipates the office space and updated south entrance to be finished by mid spring.

Atmosphere Studios space as from 700 South. Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Atmosphere Studios space as from 700 South. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

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