Bonanza Park developer: project won’t siphon away business from Main Street
March 18, 2011
Main Street over the years has fended off competition from Kimball Junction, Prospector and even a developer in the Snyderville Basin who wanted to call a street in his project New Main Street.
But the street now faces the prospect of a major development just outside of Old Town, in a place that is within walking distance of Main Street and easily accessible by road. The developer recently filed papers at City Hall to build more than 900,000 square feet of residential properties, commercial space and institutional buildings like medical offices in the Bonanza Park district.
It would be the most ambitious redo of an already built district in Park City’s history, and Main Street oftentimes sees new projects as competition.
The developer, though, does not envision his project at Bonanza Park siphoning business away from Main Street. Instead, Mark J. Fischer, who does not have holdings on Main Street, sees a redone Bonanza Park district as providing a boost for the businesses on Main Street.
The application, filed earlier in March and awaiting detailed review by City Hall, encompasses three key parcels on or near the Bonanza Drive-Kearns Boulevard intersection. Buildings there now would be demolished to make room for the new development, which Fischer anticipates could be built in phases over 15 to 20 years.
"A successful Bonanza Park will enhance Main Street dramatically," Fischer said.
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Some of the work under consideration in Bonanza Park, Fischer said, would boost Main Street. There is a chance a convention center could be built in his project, and Fischer said having one would attract more convention-goers to Park City. They would spend time on Main Street, boosting business there, he said.
Meanwhile, Fischer wants to redo the road network in Bonanza Park and expand the transit system in the district. If those goals are accomplished, traveling between Bonanza Park and Main Street would be easier, he said. Another possibility Fischer described is extending the Main Street Trolley’s route to Bonanza Park, which would provide public transportation directly between the district and Main Street.
"I believe Main Street and Bonanza Park are joined at the hip," Fischer said, adding, "It’s vital to the long-term sustainability of Main Street . . . It will help keep it successful."
He said Bonanza Park will better position the businesses inside the Park City limits, including those on Main Street, to compete with outlying shopping, dining and entertainment districts like the ones at Kimball Junction.
Fischer’s side is expected to start talks with Park City officials this spring, with meetings with the Planning Commission possibly beginning by the end of April. It could be months or longer after that before approvals are granted for the development. The panel will likely spend time discussing issues like traffic patterns and the heights of the Bonanza Park buildings.
Main Street leaders have not been briefed on the details of the recent filing. Andy Beerman, the president of the Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents businesses on or just off Main Street, said he had spoken to Fischer casually about Bonanza Park’s future prior to the submittal. Beerman said he favors Fischer’s ideas to build residential square footage in Bonanza Park.
Beerman predicts Bonanza Park will turn into a "complementary district" to Main Street. He said businesses like ski-tuning stores, sign shops and locksmiths might be attracted to Bonanza Park as opposed to the type of Main Street store willing to pay high rents to be on the street.
"If they are trying to replicate the historic district, that’s an uphill battle," Beerman said.