Kimball Art Center finds temporary home in Bonanza Park
May 19, 2015
The Kimball Art Center will move into temporary quarters along Kearns Boulevard in the fall as a new permanent facility is developed, the not-for-profit institution said on Monday, ending speculation about where the organization will be housed once it moves from its longtime Old Town location.
The temporary space is located at 1401 Kearns Blvd., in the Bonanza Park district. It is the former site of The Branch — a Vineyard Community, a religious organization once known as Mountain Vineyard Christian Fellowship.
The Kimball Art Center said in a statement it intends to remain at the location for upward of three years, enough time to design and build a new permanent facility. The Kimball Art Center plans to open the Kearns Boulevard location in September.
The statement said classes will not be interrupted and the Park City Kimball Arts Festival will occur as planned this summer. It also says the organization "plans on exploring new educational offerings and experimenting with new programming for the future permanent home that fosters even greater appreciation and understanding of the arts among patrons."
The Kimball Art Center will move from its location along Main Street. The organization says it desires more exhibition space and more space for its programs. City Hall rejected the designs for a proposed expansion at the Main Street site, finding that the plans did not meet the municipal government’s strict Old Town guidelines.
The Kimball Art Center then put the property on the market, reaching a deal with a developer. The developer recently closed on the acquisition. The closing of the deal triggered speculation about the Kimball Art Center’s plans for a temporary location. Bonanza Park had seemed to be a strong candidate given its location inside Park City and its large spaces.
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In an interview, Robin Marrouche, the executive director of the Kimball Art Center, said the building at 1401 Kearns Blvd. is attractive as a temporary location. It can be outfitted for exhibition space, classrooms can be created and it offers access for the disabled. The space covers approximately 11,000 square feet.
Other highlights of the location include parking, proximity to Park City High School and closeness to other not-for-profit organizations that partner with the Kimball Art Center, Marrouche said. There are more than 50 parking spots, she said.
Marrouche said the Kimball Art Center signed a two-year lease for the location beginning in June. The agreement includes a one-year option after the initial term, she said. She declined to discuss the lease rate but said the negotiations went well.
Marrouche early in the week said it is not yet known when the first exhibit will open at the temporary space. She said several are under consideration, but the organization wants to wait to finalize them until the configuration of the temporary space is certain. The Kimball Art Center will remain free of charge at the temporary location, she said.
The 1401 Kearns Blvd. building is a part of the portfolio of an important figure in the Bonanza Park district. A partnership involving Park City landowner-developer Mark J. Fischer and Texas billionaire John Paul DeJoria acquired the property in early 2015.
Fischer said in an interview he contacted the Kimball Art Center to suggest that the organization consider 1401 Kearns Blvd. as a temporary location, noting some of the same benefits discussed by Marrouche. He also said the property is on a bus route.
"It gives them some breathing room while they look for a permanent location," Fischer said.
Fischer said it will be at least three years before the Bonanza Park partnership starts to develop the district as he described an opportune timeline for the Kimball Art Center’s temporary location. The lease starts June 1, he said. Fischer said the negotiations with the Kimball Art Center resulted in a "favorable lease rate," explaining that the Bonanza Park partnership wanted the temporary location to be in Bonanza Park.
He hopes there is a possibility of the Kimball Art Center choosing Bonanza Park as a permanent location, but that has not been discussed, Fischer said. Marrouche acknowledged that Bonanza Park is "on our list of places we want to look at" for a permanent location.