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Kimball town centers redefining resort biz

Patrick Parkinson Of the Record staff

With Rossignol planning to move its North American headquarters to Kimball Junction’s newest town center, Newpark developers hope to build on the success The Boyer Company has enjoyed at neighboring Redstone. Construction is nearly complete on a three-story office building east of S.R. 224 that could become Rossignol’s temporary home until the company can construct its 30,000 square-foot Mountain Center in Newpark. "It is exciting," Summit County planner Michele Devaney said about growth at the Newpark Town Center. "We’re certainly hoping to extend that vitality." Snyderville’s skyline along its Interstate-80 entry corridor is changing as builders construct Kimball Junction’s tallest buildings. Heads turned when the roughly 50,000 square-foot Basin Fieldhouse was constructed in Newpark near the edge of the Swaner Nature Preserve.

Since then, work has nearly been completed on the 60,000 square-foot Cottonwood at Newpark office building. "[Newpark] remains a decent example of why we do town center projects, to cluster density," Summit County Planning Director Michael Barille said.

The new neighborhood could grow to 820,000 square feet of already approved residential and commercial development. Newpark is situated east of existing Kimball Junction and Redstone Town Center businesses, between Highland Drive and Redstone Center Drive.

"We want visitors to have the best experience they can possibly have," Newpark developer Marc Wangsgard said. Most recently, the Summit County Commission approved a final site plan for a new hotel at Kimball Junction.

Wangsgard hopes guests will be staying at the 69-unit lodge by next winter. While there are a number of public spaces throughout Newpark, a plaza near the hotel with a sun calendar is expected to be the most vibrant.

Two restaurants and other shops will likely move into the hotel’s ground level, Wangsgard said.

"I can’t tell you what they’ll be just yet," the developer added. Ninety-five townhouses are nearly complete at Newpark and 20,000 more square feet of affordable one-bedroom apartments and lofts are planned on the second and third levels of Newpark’s retail center. "That’s the next project," Devaney said. But reaction from the public about residential architecture in the development has been mixed, she added. "Some people love [the townhouses], some people don’t like them," Devaney said. "They’re a variation from a lot of the other mountain architecture in the area." Though Snyderville is part of the unincorporated portion of Summit County, with the Basin’s population of roughly 20,000 expected to double over the next few decades, planners believe by clustering development in town centers, services like utilities and public transit can be provided more efficiently. "Perhaps some who are new to our community don’t realize that in order to cluster this development and have greater densities, various open space was created throughout the Snyderville Basin," Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer said about land Newpark protected in exchange for more development rights. According to Barille, "it pulled a lot of density off some of the hillsides below Glenwild and pulled some density out of Swaner Nature Preserve, which were good things."

With approval to build a 154-unit subdivision on a parcel Newpark owns near East Canyon Creek, Wangsgard and partner Jim Doilney opted to place a conservation easement on that land in exchange for additional development rights at Kimball Junction.

"It’s a cooperative effort," Wangsgard said about negotiations between the county and Newpark to preserve open space. "You actually can find yourself on the same side of the table as the Planning Commission." Summit County approved a development agreement for the Newpark specially planned area in 2001. "Since that time, there have been some changes in the plan," Richer said about the scrapping of plans to construct a training facility for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association at Newpark. Viewed as an anchor tenant in the development, Wangsgard and Doilney changed their master plan when USSA pulled out.

A bowling alley is now slated within Newpark’s roughly 170,000 square feet of commercial space.

"It’s a new bowling concept," Wangsgard said, adding that the facility will complement services offered in Redstone. "We want an activities center that will draw people from the (Redstone) theater into this next project."

Devaney adds, "there is still quite a bit to be built there." "When you reach the edge of that, [development] just stops. Their retail will pick up where Redstone stopped," she said.

Meanwhile, Swaner officials are expected to soon begin raising money to construct a 10,000 square-foot education center on Newpark’s eastern edge.

"These are the kinds of things that come out of clustered development," Wangsgard said.


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