Utah’s first Shake Shack will bring new life to historic building

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SANDY, Utah – Shake Shack is coming to Utah, bringing new life to an old Historic Registry school building.

The school building on 11000 South and State Street in Sandy has been home to an elementary school and a high school, but since 2008 it’s sat vacant.

Wednesday, we learned of redevelopment plans looking to breathe new life into this old school, including a popular burger joint, Shake Shack.

The announcement of its first Utah location is taking social media by storm.

One user on the Fox 13 Facebook page said she’s excited that she won’t have to drive to Denver to eat at the fast food joint anymore.

Another claimed to be “shook” by the news, others were just excited to finally try it.

Of course, some aren't even sure what it is, like Sandy resident Courtney Talbot.

"It's a shake place?" He guessed.

The development, which will feature four buildings in total, is appropriately called, “the schoolyard.”

“Shake Shack was the first being willing to pull the trigger and get this rolling,” said Nick Duerksen, Sandy City’s Economic and Redevelopment Director.

But not everyone is saying ‘YASSS’ to shake shack, like our Facebook users.

Some concerns arise from the chain’s 400 to 1000 calorie burgers.

“One more place to make me fat,” Talbot said.

For others, it’s the location.

“Since I moved to Utah from California I always admired this old building, it’s so beautiful,” Jason Jarrah said.

The building popped up in the 1930s and was first home to Crescent Elementary, then in the 70s, it became Valley High School. Valley High School moved to a new location in 2008 and the building has sat empty ever since.

The developers said they have no plans to get rid of this National Historic Registry property.

“It was the epicenter of the crescent area which was the school, it was the fabric that kind of held this community together for decades,” Duerksen said.

Based on renderings from Wadsworth Development Group, the plan is to maintain the structure and facade of the nearly century-old building.

“Really good developers also recognize that what you really want to do is create an atmosphere, sometimes older buildings create that for a business,” Duerksen said. “This is what we’ve always envisioned, restaurant uses and save the building!”

Wadsworth Development Group told FOX 13 that Shake Shack plans to open more locations in Utah, but this first one should be up and running by summer 2019.

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