The Huntsman family is considering developing its Deer Valley estate with its partner, an attorney who represents the family said on Monday, something that had not been anticipated when the property went on the market nearly four years ago.
The estate, 5000 Royal St., has been on the market since mid-2009. It was listed for $55 million when it was put up for sale. Joe Wrona, the attorney, said the estate had been actively marketed, but the Huntsman family and the partner, Salt Lake City-based Gardner Company, now want to develop the property instead of selling the acreage.
The estate covers approximately 60 acres of land stretching between Marsac Avenue and Royal Street. The listing real estate agent when it went on the market, Deedee Corradini, called the estate "truly the crown jewel of Deer Valley" shortly after it was put up for sale.
Jon Huntsman Sr., the industrialist and the father of former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., built the estate in 1989. The property has one house but has broader development potential. The asking price reflected the development prospects much more than the house that is there. Wrona said there have been multiple offers for the estate, but none resulted in a transaction.
Wrona said the Huntsman family and its partner are considering several development options, including one that would involve a few houses and another one that envisions building townhouses or duplexes in a clustered layout. The house there now, a 20,000-square-foot mansion with 12 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, could be left as is, be remodeled but kept as a house or torn down and the ground be redeveloped with two or three smaller houses, he said.
The estate's development potential could be of greater interest than it was when it went on the market in 2009. In the time since then, Deer Valley Resort has begun exploring the possibility of building a gondola linking the slopes and Main Street. Details about a route have not been decided, but Wrona said the Huntsman estate could be a critical parcel as a gondola line is finalized. He said many potential routes between Main Street and Silver Lake Village in upper Deer Valley would cross the estate.
"It's a prime location for a gondola midway station that included load, unload," Wrona said, noting that a gondola station on the estate could also provide access to numerous other homeowners in the vicinity.
If it is a place where riders can get on and off the gondola, it seems there would be interest in development beyond the terminal of the gondola itself.
Deer Valley officials have said a gondola could debut for the 2014-2015 ski season, at the earliest. Wrona said development on the Huntsman estate could commence as early as 2014, depending on the type of project and the permits that are needed. It is not clear what sort of City Hall approvals would be needed for a development on the Huntsman estate.
Deer Valley sees a gondola linking the slopes to Main Street as something that would provide a competitive edge. The Brew Pub lot close to the southern end of Main Street has been widely publicized as the likely location of one of the terminals. Silver Lake Village could be the location of the other terminal, Deer Valley officials have said.