Developer crowns his Main Street portfolio with acquisition of Sky Lodge
A developer who has acquired a patchwork of Main Street properties over the last year has negotiated a deal to crown his portfolio on the street with the Sky Lodge, an exclusive, well-situated property that fell into bankruptcy as the recession wore on.
Ken Abdalla will close on the property by early March, his attorney, Joe Wrona, said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wrona, though, said the property had been listed for sale at more than $12 million and Abdalla’s deal was a "real value."
Abdalla will acquire the Sky Lodge from a business entity known as WestLB AG. It is an affiliate of a German financial firm and was a key lender when the project was built. WestLB AG took control of the Sky Lodge in 2010 through a bankruptcy involving the developer of the property.
According to Wrona, Abdalla acquired the unsold fractional interests in the Sky Lodge, amounting to approximately 50 percent of the residential inventory of the project. The Sky Lodge units were sold in fractional interests, meaning that the buyer obtained only a certain share of a unit in a purchase.
Abdalla also acquired all of the commercial property at the Sky Lodge site. The commercial property includes:
"The Sky Lodge was the first property that caught my eye when I began looking at potential acquisitions on Main Street," Abdalla said in a prepared statement released by Wrona, adding, "The Sky Lodge has a lot of untapped potential, and I am excited to take the Sky Lodge to new heights."
The prepared statement said Abdalla anticipates upgrading the service at the Sky Lodge. Wrona agreed in saying that the Sky Lodge could be the "centerpiece of Main Street."
The Sky Lodge was the most ambitious development on Main Street in years. It debuted in late 2007, less than a year before the convulsions in the stock market in 2008 and then the deepest points of the recession.
Wrona said Abdalla has negotiated a separate deal for a building at 625 Main St. The purchase has not yet closed. The building houses the Downstairs nightclub, a Deer Valley Signatures store and the space most recently occupied by a Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate office.
The deals for the Sky Lodge and the 625 Main St. building will be the latest in a string of Abdalla-led purchases on Main Street. He previously bought nearly all the units in the Silver Queen Hotel, the Imperial Hotel, a vacant lot next to the Imperial and a building at 692 Main St. The Sky Lodge, the Silver Queen Hotel and the building at 625 Main St. occupy three corners of the high-traffic Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection, leaving the not-for-profit Kimball Art Center as the only property at the intersection not under Abdalla’s control.
He led the group that acquired the firm that controlled most of the land at Canyons. He also acquired the Fairway Springs development at Canyons.
Abdalla has not spoken publicly about the acquisitions. He has declined repeated interview requests made by The Park Record through Wrona. Abdalla in the last year became one of the most important figures in Main Street real estate in what was a significant shift in ownership on the street wrought by the recession. Wrona said Abdalla sees the properties as being underutilized.
"I intend to develop and operate this portfolio in a manner that allows the properties to cross-pollinate and add value to Park City’s Main Street experience," Abdalla said in the prepared statement.
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The planning committee and the newly formed task forces will continue to work on the master planning priorities and will present to the Board of Education at its meeting Dec. 17.