Dinner time is long gone | ParkRecord.com

Dinner time is long gone

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Developers are considering options for the building that housed the Brand X Cattle Company restaurant, dilapidated and forgotten on lower Park Avenue, part of the continued speculator interest in Old Town, one of the area’s hottest neighborhoods.

The building, 1064 Park Ave., sits rundown in a neighborhood where lots of people invest money in an effort to make houses and other buildings pretty for Parkites and visitors. But many have long seen the Cattle Company building as an eyesore, with the street-level space abandoned years ago and the upper floor aging in front of the drivers and pedestrians on Park Avenue.

"We’re looking at all the possibilities," says Michael Saltman, the Las Vegas man who owns the building in a trust with his wife and has a house on nearby Empire Avenue.

He says options include demolishing the building or renovating it but a decision has not been made. He admits that the building is in "pretty rough" shape. Nobody has lived in the apartments on the upper floors for about six months, he says.

"There’s always the need for ever better quality of construction," Saltman says, touting Park City’s real-estate market, tourism and the city’s closeness to Salt Lake City.

The developers recently filed an application at City Hall to turn the property into what are being billed as the ’11th Street Cottages.’ According to the submittal, the design envisions tearing down the Cattle Company structure and building three houses on the property, located just north of the Town Lift and a little south of City Park.

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The Summit County Assessor’s Office values the property at $288,419 and the owners paid $2,779.21 in taxes on the property in 2006.

The local government must determine whether the building is historic, review the designs and subdivide the land the building sits on, according to Brooks Robinson, a City Hall planner. Robinson expects those decisions will be made in the summer during a series of public meetings.

He says the three houses contemplated in the application are reasonable requests, noting that the land the building sits on is large enough to hold the houses.

The decision about the potential of it being historic will be key. City Hall tries to protect buildings from the city’s silver-mining era and development on the site could be complicated if it is designated historic.

"It’s been altered significantly. Whether you can bring back its historic nature — probably problematic," Robinson says. "It looks like a product of its alterations."

A statement the developers submitted to City Hall outlines their contention that the building is not historic, arguing that, "additions to the building over the years have allowed for any historic material to be removed and replaced" and the architecture and significance of the building do "not contribute to the historic value of the property or surrounding area."

The oldest parts of the building date to the 1920s, when a boardinghouse operated inside, according to research by Hal Compton, a historian at the Park City Museum, published in The Park Record in 1999. Compton says the building operated as an inn during the 1960s and then as two restaurants, Adolph’s White Haus Restaurant and the Cattle Company.

Compton says in an interview the owners could restore the building but he admits it is not as important to Park City’s history as others that have been threatened, such as the Centennial House on upper Main Street.

"I don’t know that we would start a movement to save it," Compton says, adding, "It doesn’t compare, historically, with the Centennial, the Star Hotel. Those are more important buildings."