City Hall memo: construction and more construction along Main Street
Ryan Summerlin October 25, 2013
The Park City Building Department this week issued a memo listing the private-sector construction projects that have received permits along Main Street, a rundown that illustrates the high level of investment being put into the shopping, dining and entertainment district.
There are projects underway up and down the street, some of them major and in clear view and others minor that someone might not notice. Chad Root, the chief building official, drafted the memo. It was submitted to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council as an update rather than in anticipation of a detailed discussion.
"I have been told from some long time locals this is the most activity that they have seen or heard about since the fire," Root said in the memo.
The fire he references was a disastrous 1898 blaze that damaged or destroyed a huge swath of what was Park City of that era. The rebuilding involved a major construction effort.
The private sector this year is putting significant investment into Main Street projects, anticipating that Park City’s strong emergence from the recession will continue. There was a series of high-profile ownership changes along Main Street during the downturn, and some of the projects listed in the memo involve properties under new ownership in recent years.
Root said in the memo the list is not exhaustive. Many projects that are smaller were not identified on the list, he said.
The properties listed in the memo are:
The memo, meanwhile, offers a brief preview of two projects that may be under construction in 2014. One of the projects, at the Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection, will involve building an additional story. The other project listed is the expansion of the Kimball Art Center. The art center, though, must still secure the development permits it would need before construction could start.
Root did not list the streetscape improvements undertaken by City Hall this year along Main Street. The improvements are meant to make the street a more attractive place for shoppers and diners.
Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council received a briefing about the construction on Main Street at a Thursday meeting. Root, using a slideshow, provided an overview of the work. City Councilor Cindy Matsumoto asked whether construction projects are ever denied on Main Street.
"Time out, that’s all," Matsumoto said.
Williams, meanwhile, referred to what he labeled a "massive deforestation project" at the 201 Heber Ave. project site, where the Sky Lodge property is situated. Root’s report mentioned that the trees would be taken down.
Liza Simpson, a Park City Councilor who lives on Main Street, said in an interview the projects in the commercial district have been concentrated on Main Street itself this year. In past years, she said, projects oftentimes would be split between Main Street and Swede Alley, one block east.
"The most impactful things have been the crane at the corner of Main and Heber, and I don’t like walking past the empty storefronts," Simpson said.
Simpson, who works at Dolly’s Bookstore on Main Street, said the bookseller and the attached Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory have been busy amid the construction projects. She said people who live along Main Street are used to construction, including a string of major projects dating to before the 2002 Winter Olympics.
"As a resident, there’s been a steady stream of construction since we started the transit center," Simpson said.