Business owners are buying Redstone, Newpark shopping surge
As more businesses open, they are optimistic about area’s future
March 31, 2017
After enduring ups and downs throughout the years, one of the most popular shopping districts in Kimball Junction is thriving on the strength of more than a dozen businesses that have opened in the area over the last two years.
Redstone, and the intersecting retail section of Newpark stretching south of Newpark Resort on Center Drive, have seen an influx of businesses, ranging from hair salons to exercise studios to clothing stores. And entrepreneurs in the area say it's made them more optimistic than ever about the future.
Jon Allen, owner of J.W. Allen & Sons Toys & Candy, knows as well as anyone the sometimes-fickle nature of owning a small business in the Redstone/Newpark neighborhood, which has traditionally been overshadowed by Old Town as the Park City area's prime shopping district. He opened the toy store in 2005 and persevered through the recession that spelled the end for several other stores in the neighborhood. He's tried to ride the area's gradual resurgence since, but said the last two years have been particularly encouraging, with new storefronts popping up seemingly every month.
The area is rapidly becoming an even more popular hub for locals and tourists alike, he said.
"Every year, we've been getting stronger and stronger since the recession," he said. "Certainly, the more that we have occupancy in all the stores, the better it is for all of us."
For Dean Tutor, the growth at Newpark and Redstone seemed much less gradual. He and his wife lived nearby about 10 years ago, but left for a business opportunity in Florida. When they returned to Utah, they were astonished by the neighborhood's growth and immediately set about capitalizing on area's revival. They opened the clothing store Indigo Highway last fall and have noticed a rising stream of business activity even in the last six months.
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"We've seen interest go through the roof," he said. "The agents are showing the open spaces. There's a lot of promise. We are very encouraged and excited for the next couple years and how and where this is going to grow. Because it is — it's inevitable."
Jill Sanchez is another business owner pleased to have chosen the neighborhood. She opened an Orangetheory Fitness location in Redstone last year and said she's been surprised by how bustling the neighborhood feels on a typical day.
"Even since we've been here, there are more businesses and more people walking the street," she said.
If there's a cloud on the horizon for Redstone — and to a lesser extent Newpark — it's the threat of what will happen when Whole Foods, a key anchor in the area, moves out of its current location into its new digs under construction on Landmark Drive, across State Road 224. The organic food chain is slated to move in the coming months. Representatives from Center Cal Properties, the firm overseeing the construction of the new Whole Foods project, did not return a request seeking comment.
Meanwhile, business owners in the area are waiting anxiously to see who will become the new tenant of the current Whole Foods space. Allen said the future of Redstone is tied closely to that storefront.
"That's such a big store, and there's no question that's a go-to for this area," he said. "It's hard to know how many people find the other stores because they're going to Whole Foods, but I would suspect there's a good percentage of people who are taking a look around and see what else is here. If that was blackened and stayed black for a while, I think we'd feel the effects of it."
According to Scott Verhaaren, a senior partner with Boyer, which owns the space, the suspense may not last much longer. He said Boyer is in lease negotiations with a national-type retailer. Discussions are ongoing, but an announcement could be made within the next month.
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