Main Street Mall renovation awaits approval from city
Ryan Summerlin May 17, 2013
Plans to redevelop the Main Street Mall, one of the largest buildings on the street, have been on the drawing board for years. But the property, valued at nearly $6.2 million, according to the Summit County Assessor’s office, has changed owners delaying any sort of development on the high-profile location on the 300 block of Main Street. But the new owner is ready to move forward.
The owner of the property is listed as AG-WIP 333 Main Street Owner, LLC, according to Summit County property records. Angelo Gordon and Company, a law firm based out of New York City is representing the unnamed, out-of-state owners, who hired Elliott Workgroup Architecture to carry out construction.
According to Craig Elliott, principal architect at the local firm, who is working with the current owner, more than paint, will be used during redevelopment, but construction isn’t going to start tomorrow. Applications have recently been submitted by the firm to the Park City Planning Department. Once the revitalization plans are reviewed and accepted by the city – construction will commence.
"The plan is to start building by the end of the summer," Elliott said during an interview. "The existing zoning on the building is designed for commercial use. Since we are putting in residential areas, the process takes a little bit longer. As soon as we get the thumbs up from the city we are ready to get to work."
The 333 Main Street Project includes two applications that have been submitted to the city, according to Senior Planner Kirsten Whetstone at the Park City Planning Department.
The first application is a request to modify the approved Historic District Design Review on Main Street, which includes exterior changes on the Park Avenue side of the building’s roof top gardens, patios/terraces and additional landscaping.
"Our goal is to knit the street together," Elliott said. "The way this property worked in the past as an interior mall was all wrong. Main Street is the mall, and we want to keep it that way."
Elliott, who has lived in the area for over 20 years, said he is excited to see the project move forward and agrees the redevelopment has been a long time coming.
"Approval has already been made to change the retail front on Main Street to match the rest of the street," Whetstone said. "This will allow store fronts to reach the sidewalk on the street, keeping the consistency with the rest of the Main Street businesses. The remaining portion of the project should be decided on soon."
The second is a request to change the non-conforming use for the HR2 portion of the existing building, modifying the second and third floors from commercial to residential areas. The HCB zoned portion of these floors will now house residential condominium units. A penthouse unit is also proposed to be constructed on the Main Street side on the fourth floor.
Total number of residential units will be 15, ranging in size from 1,346 to 3,559 square feet. Total commercial floor area is 36,283 square feet on the first floor.
"Residential parking is already taken care of through an agreement with the city tied to the construction of the China Bridge parking structure," Whetstone said.
There will be 56 spaces inside the parking structure, along with 10 spaces accessed from Swede Alley at one of the tunnel locations for residents, added Whetstone.
But for now the lights are off, the doors are shut and the last business has packed up shop in the vacant four-story building, leaving other Main Street business owners like Doug Hollinger, of Park City Clothing Company, nervous the vacant stretch will be bad for everybody.
"A coat of paint would do something," Hollinger said. "We really need to get this project rolling. Even if they would have started yesterday, I don’t think they would be done this year. This closed area is making the whole town look bad."
The building has lost tenants over the years – mostly because of leasing agreement changes made by past owners said Hollinger, who moved his business to 558 Main Street.
The store opened for business in 1994 and was originally located inside of the mall, until property leases were cut to 90-day contracts, an agreement Hollinger who orders product sold in the store a year in advance says he couldn’t agree to nearly four years ago.
"We didn’t leave the mall because business was bad," Hollinger said. "You can’t do business month-to-month in retail. When our lease came up, so did this property. Once in a while you get a royal flush and we really lucked out the way things fell together for us."
Not all of the businesses located strategically across from the Egyptian Theater were so lucky. Stores for clothing, art and jewelry, along with Shabu, an Asian fusion restaurant located on the second floor and Café Brilliant, have been forced to leave.
According to Elliott, contracts will not be signed with prospective retail and restaurant clients that will fill the first floor until the applications have been approved by the city.
"It’s not good for anybody having all this empty space, except maybe the pigeons," Hollinger said. "The overhaul will be accepted and I hope the new owners can pull this off. It’s exciting to see three years of indecision come to an end."