Housing advocates laud Silver Star developers | ParkRecord.com

Housing advocates laud Silver Star developers

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Silver Star developers have reaped an award for a work force housing building on the grounds of the slopeside project, an honor for a project that has been touted as being the best-placed worker housing in Park City.

The Utah Housing Coalition, in a recent meeting held in Park City, called the Silver Star worker housing the ‘Project of the Year’ in an urban setting. The award went to Paladin Development Partners.

In announcing the honor, the housing group said "the affordable units make up the heart of Silver Star" and they "share the vibrant campus" with the Sundance Institute’s Utah headquarters and an arts program.

Silver Star officials have long spoken with pride about the work force units, saying the location within a short walk of a Park City Mountain ski lift makes the housing highly desirable and proclaiming that the units are of high quality.

"I didn’t put a nail in that building, Frankly, I didn’t get my hands dirty at all," said Rory Murphy, the lead Silver Star developer, crediting others involved in the project for the award.

The developers built two work force buildings on the grounds, totaling 20 units. Half of the units were put up for sale and the rest are rented on a seasonal basis. Silver Star held a lottery to pick people to purchase the work force units that were for sale.

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Murphy, who is a member of the Park City Planning Commission, said the work force housing adds vitality to Silver Star and the rest of Park City. People living in the units include a karate instructor, the owner of a ski-valet business and local-government workers.

"You provide housing to the people who need to be there to make your community function," he said.

Work force housing has long challenged Park City, the most expensive housing market in the state, and many rank-and-file workers are priced out of the market. City Hall requires the largest developers to build work force units, and the local government is pursuing its own housing program.

Kirsten Whetstone, a City Hall planner, spoke about the units as she introduced Murphy at a short award ceremony recently. She mentioned the location close to the Sundance offices and called Silver Star a unique development.

Scott Loomis, the executive director of Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, a not-for-profit organization, said in an interview the Silver Star units are designed well and the slopeside location is ideal.

"Can you get any better than ski access for affordable housing. Some of those units, you walk out the door and you’re on the snow," Loomis said.

He praised Murphy as a "strong advocate" for work force housing, and he talked about the high-quality finishes in the Silver Star units.

"He had hardwood floors, granite counters — you typically wouldn’t see in affordable housing," Loomis said.

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