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  • Writer's pictureChris Hatch

Landing a Kickass Restaurant in Your Apartment's Ground Floor

I recently toured a space in Salt Lake City yesterday with @chloecypers, @Tesslamotor, @CRE_Legends and a few of my buddies that are building some cool new apartments. They want an awesome restaurant to fill the space under the apartments. I wanted to share some observations of what they did right on the site that will help them land the food & beverage offering they want.

The immediate standout factor of the space when first entering the space is the ceiling height of the space. The space offers an outstanding 17’ of clear height. This is huge for marketing the space and it's hard to do, and is a big sacrifice, but creates a very “open” feel that many trendy restaurants would look for in a space. The developer preserved an old industrial building that sits adjacent to this space on the far end of the wall and incorporated that into the building which makes the potential restaurant space an amenity space.

ground floor space

A must have for a restaurant space, that the developer considered beforehand, a grease trap. This is often skipped over with these kinds of developments because they aren’t always focused on what type of tenant they want. The developer installed a grease interceptor and was thoughtful about where the clean out was located. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. Some days, our life is about how to get bad stuff out of the restaurant space (sewer, grease, etc). The developer was sure of their decision to get a restaurant in the space and acted on it. This will really help when filling the space because it removes another hurdle that would need to be addressed if a food tenant comes asking.

The developer also installed a recessed 30’ deep loading dock for the building. The plan was to allow the residents a space where they could pull a truck in off the street. They intentionally located this adjacent to the restaurant space to also give the potential tenant that utility. You can see halfway down in the above photo, a hole in the ceiling. That is a hood vent that goes all the way through the building to the roof. This allows you to install a kitchen that has a grill. Almost every food and beverage concept any multifamily developer wants is going to need a hood and it is a pain to install if it hasn't been done beforehand. Both installations are great examples of the developer thinking ahead and installing the pieces of the puzzle that a food and beverage operator looks for in a new space.

There are 20 open (non-secured) structured parking stalls as part of the building. Having these stalls is a game changer for this space. Almost every single ground floor retail space we have ever walked through has no parking attached to it. That is an immediate no for many operators looking at the site. It really restricts who is going to potentially visit the site, to those who use public transport or live in the nearby area. The lack of separate parking deters visitors who would normally be driving to the site and operators are very aware of that issue. Extra parking, like the 20 stalls the developer added, increases the number of potential visitors to any food and beverage space exponentially.

The developers had a cognizant thought about where delivery drivers for companies like @Grubhub, @UberEats, and @Seamless were going to temporarily park to run in and grab orders. We even talked about a separate door for them to access, to make the path as direct as possible. Another great boost that potential tenants will not see at a lot of other potential sites which gives their leasing team the best chance of landing a great concept in their space.

The use of space was impressive because the developer utilized the interior space they had to build a regressed patio that many operators will love. With how the building had to sit on the site there was no room for a patio along the street. They realized the importance of a patio/outdoor area for potential tenants, so they cut out a piece of the space to create a recessed patio space. I think this is a great call by the developer to help market the space and land the best tenant possible.

I also wanted to address the amount of glass that is planned to come in here in between these columns. The food and beverage concepts that the developers hope to fill their space often want open spaces and lots of natural light. And the developers nailed it here.

Salt Lake City is very adamant about requiring some mixed-use spaces in new apartment projects and we have seen many not address what tenants are looking for in a new space. This has led to many vacant ground floor spaces in the market. The developers of this project have done a great job of seeing this trend and doing something different to give the space the best possible chance of landing that dream tenant they are hoping for.

Last note from me, if you are building or planning to build in Salt Lake anytime soon and want to differentiate your project from everyone else, we would strongly encourage you to build a rooftop food and beverage space. Nobody has anything like it in the market and it seems like an epic hole in a type of space that some tenants would absolutely love to have. This applies to all markets, look around what is currently available and try and find something different. Often developers ignore what tenants are saying they want to see in a new space and listening and being innovative can make all the difference in landing that dream tenant in your project.

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