‘Disappointed,’ lead Bonanza Park figure presses ahead
Ryan Summerlin June 18, 2013
City Hall last week delivered a high-profile defeat to Mark J. Fischer, the lead developer in the Bonanza Park district.
But Fischer said in an interview on Monday he plans to press ahead with the overarching idea for the redo of the district, centered along roads like Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive.
Fischer had wanted to swap land he owns on lower Iron Horse Drive for the parcel where a Rocky Mountain Power substation sits across the street on Munchkin Drive. He said Bonanza Park could have been more ambitious if the substation was moved, freeing up a large piece of land in a prime location in the district.
City Hall on Friday, though, nixed the idea, saying a swap would have been difficult to complete along a timeline that calls for a substation upgrade by the fall of 2015. Park City leaders, meanwhile were under heavy pressure from people who live or have properties along lower Iron Horse Drive not to complete the swap or allow the substation to be relocated. They were worried about falling property values and having a substation so close to their places.
Fischer said on Monday he will continue his efforts in Bonanza Park with the understanding that the substation will remain in its current location. He said the nearly 18 months of talks about relocating the substation did not set him back on the overall preparations for the redevelopment of Bonanza Park.
"Naturally I’m disappointed. We carefully followed the public process . . . ," Fischer said, describing that he respected the decision by Park City leaders. "I now hope the community will work with me to make Bonanza Park the best it can be."
The lower Iron Horse Drive property where he wanted to relocate the substation was earlier approved for development, he said. Fischer said he plans to put up a three-story building there with retail space on the street level and offices and residences on the upstairs floors. He said a groundbreaking is planned in the summer of 2014 and construction could take a year.
Rocky Mountain Power needs to upgrade the substation to meet the area’s electricity needs. City Hall and Fischer saw the need for an upgrade as an opportunity to consider the location of the substation given its setting in a prime location in the Bonanza Park district.
Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council are scheduled to continue their talks about an upgraded substation at its current site at a meeting on Thursday. The elected officials will focus on the height of the facility as they consider different designs for a redone substation.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers at the Marsac Building. A hearing is scheduled. In a report submitted to the elected officials early in the week, City Hall staffers recommended the City Council proceed with an expansion of the substation that climbs to approximately 60 feet in height. The expansion would occur in the substation’s current footprint under that scenario, the report to the elected officials says.