More Junction retail likely coming
Big changes are planned for the south half of Kimball Junction.
A proposed commercial development has many partners and many pieces, so it is moving through the approval process slowly. If OK’d, the project will expedite the creation of roundabouts on each end of Uintah Way and an expansion of Smith’s Food and Drug.
The developers are still in the early stages of filing an application, but key points in the plan include a new fuel center at Smith’s, a Del Taco franchise to the north of the grocery, a credit union building to the south and new retail space on both sides of Uintah Way.
The proposal must be approved as part of a "specially planned area" (SPA), said Tiffanie Northrup in the Summit County Planning Division. So far, she’s only seen a sketch plan but knows the parties are working on the design.
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission has reviewed the sketch plan twice and has given the green light to submit a formal proposal. They have up to nine months to do so.
"We’ve been in contact. I know they’re trying to move forward," she said.
One obstacle is the need for roundabouts on each end of Uintah Way to accommodate the increased traffic the development would invite, Northrup said.
The roundabouts are in the county’s long-term vision for the area, said traffic engineer Kent Wilkerson. But if not for the SPA application, they might be planned for five-to-seven years from now. The designers of the development and the county engineering department, therefore, have been working together to come up with a proposal that works for the entire neighborhood, he said.
Marsha Gilford, spokesperson for Smith’s, said there is no specific timeline or details available at this time. The store is interested in adding square footage and the fuel center, but must work with several other parties in the process.
Paul Hitzelberger, the Del Taco franchisee, said he’s ready on his end.
"Although we’re in good shape as I understand it we’re not finalized because of what needs to be done with the rest of the planning," he explained. "We’re excited and anxious."
Hitzelberger said he’s predicting his store could open as early as next year. As an area resident, he said he’s comfortable with the speed of the application and how careful the parties are being to make sure the project is a good fit for the community.
"It’ll be a wonderful project when it’s all done. The changes will be a very nice enhancement and will help the connectivity and the walkability," he said. "Our design will fit right in with the mountain resort look it’s feeling good."
Ross Varner, landlord for Kimball Village that includes World Market, Starbucks and other businesses, said he would like to build three or four 4,000-square-foot commercial units on the corner of Uintah Way and Newpark Boulevard.
His proposal would eliminate some parking, but not enough to compromise obligations he has to his anchor tenants, he said.
"I think it will create some synergy to the area. It will bring in some additional tenants and create more of a walking-friendly, pedestrian environment," Varner said. "The buildings will all conform to the same designs."
There are many landowners involved, but he said Smith’s and Del Taco are perhaps the most anxious to get started. Varner said his company would move slowly, building one unit at a time and waiting until it is filled and successful.
"We’ll build according to demand and see how it goes," he added.
Wilkerson said the project, if approved, will also have a major impact on its neighbors including Redstone Village, Kimball Plaza, the Silver Mountain Building and others.
View Developments proposed for Kimball Junction in a larger map
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