And the price tag on Treasure is . . . ? | ParkRecord.com

And the price tag on Treasure is . . . ?

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

The Sweeney family late on Monday hand-delivered to City Hall its price tag on a complete buyout of the development rights attached to the Treasure acreage, one of the most significant occurrences in the long-running discussions about the project.

The Sweeney side closely guarded its number. Mike Sweeney, who represents his family in the talks with City Hall, declined to discuss details about the document that was submitted on Monday. He said he left it for City Manager Tom Bakaly. The number was crafted between the family and its New York-based business partner.

It was not clear on Tuesday what will unfold the rest of the week. Jonathan Weidenhamer, who directs City Hall’s economic development programs and has been involved in the Treasure negotiations, said a procedure for releasing the number to the public had not been decided. He said a press release could be issued announcing the figure, but a timeline has not been set.

"I think we’d like to get the total buyout number out as soon as possible," Weidenhamer said.

Mayor Dana Williams, one of City Hall’s Treasure negotiators, said Tuesday morning he had not been briefed on the submittal. He said he anticipated the figure will be discussed during a closed-door Park City Council meeting on Thursday.

The dollar figure attached to a buyout has been the great unknown in the Treasure discussions. It will be of interest to people across Park City since the money would be raised through a ballot measure if a deal is reached. City Hall would need to ask voters to approve a conservation bond to fund a purchase of the development rights.

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Park City last summer put a $48 million figure on a hypothetical Treasure deal as it calculated the impact on property taxes if a bond of that size passed. Officials, though, cautioned, that $48 million might not be the actual number.

City Hall watchers and people who have followed the Treasure discussions likely have heard rumblings about the dollar figure. There has been at least some chatter of the figure reaching $100 million, but it is not certain what the speculative numbers are based on.

Both City Hall and the Sweeney family have had appraisals conducted. City Hall’s appraisal dates to mid-2010 while the Sweeney family’s was conducted earlier in 2011. The two appraisals have not been made public.

Park City Councilman Joe Kernan said he has heard talk of a wide range of prices over the past few years. He said $100 million is in the middle of the range he has heard for a complete buyout.

Kernan is retiring as a City Councilman in early January and will not be one of the decision-makers if plans are drawn up for a ballot measure in 2012. Kernan’s last City Council meeting is scheduled Thursday.

"I’ve heard different numbers bounced around that were all very, very high," Kernan said. "All the numbers are too high for me."

The Treasure acreage is situated on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. The Sweeney family holds development rights dating to the 1980s.

The Treasure development proposal, upward of 1 million square feet, has drawn neighborhood opposition and criticism from the Park City Planning Commission. The discussions about the development itself stalled, prompting a separate set of talks about some sort of conservation deal.

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