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Spy Hop opens the doors of its new youth media arts center

The building in Salt Lake City’s Central Ninth neighborhood includes a performance venue, production facilities and classroom spaces.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Missy Greis embraces Heather Kahlert during a dedication ceremony of Spy Hop’s new headquarters in the Central Ninth neighborhood of Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

Spy Hop, the Salt Lake City nonprofit that fosters young people’s talent in digital media arts, opened the doors to its new headquarters Wednesday.

The 22,000-square-foot building — now called The Kahlert Youth Media Arts Center — includes offices, programming and classroom spaces, production facilities, and a community event and performance venue.

The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City chose to redevelop the property. The RDA board, which is also the Salt Lake City Council, gave Spy Hop a $1 million forgivable loan and a $487,000 write-down on the sale of the property at 200 West and 900 South — which will be a fixture of the Central Ninth neighborhood.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Matt Mateus, education director, shows off Spy Hop’s new headquarters in the Central Ninth neighborhood of Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

The building bears the name of the Kahlert Foundation, which gives grants to groups involved in youth programs, education, health care and other areas.

The foundation’s vice president, Heather Kahlert, was among the people who spoke at Wednesday’s opening — along with Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Missy Greis, owner of the Publik coffeehouse chain and a Spy Hop board member.

Spy Hop had been housed temporarily on West Temple and 700 South, in a former auto dealership. The nonprofit moved there in 2016, when it had to leave its space in the Rio Grande district, after parents complained that the encroaching homeless population was a safety hazard for students.

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