Mormon church prepares to put Main Street Park City building on market
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could put a Main Street building where a Family Tree Center once operated on the market shortly, an offering that would be especially noteworthy as the real estate community, investors, church watchers and rank-and-file Parkites await the fate of a well-situated property along the shopping, dining and entertainment strip.
The 5,615-square-foot building is located at 531 Main St., close to the midpoint of the street. The Family Tree Center operated on the street level while there are three apartments on the second and third levels. The Family Tree Center, which provided an opportunity for people to research their ancestors, closed in February of 2018. The street level space and the upstairs apartments are vacant.
Church leaders are anticipated to consider the possibility of authorizing the real estate listing soon. A sign was posted on the building on Friday — the opening day of the Park City Kimball Arts Festival — announcing the property would be listed shortly. The arts festival, one of the largest events on Park City’s calendar, brought large crowds of people to Main Street in view of the sign.
Ric Horgan, the real estate project manager for the church, said the property will be listed without an asking price. Horgan said the church wants the listing to be finalized prior to the ski season. A sale would relieve the church from the expenses of maintaining a vacant building, he said.
The Family Tree Center opened in the years before the 2002 Winter Olympics, a time when international publicity was building in Park City and the wider Olympic region. Horgan said the church wanted a presence along Main Street during the Games era. The Park City area hosted approximately half of the competitions during the Games, and Main Street was one of the Olympic region’s most popular celebration zones, drawing huge crowds. The Family Tree Center provided the church with a high-profile location in the years since the closing ceremonies.
“It’s right in the heart of Main Street. It served its purpose well during the Olympics,” Horgan said, adding, “It was a good property.”
Horgan anticipates interest from potential buyers within Utah and from outside the state. He said it will be carefully marketed. The sign posted on the building indicates it is listed with the firm CBRE, a commercial real estate brokerage. Horgan said real estate in Park City is not “tethered to normal market dynamics” as he described the anticipated interest in the building.
The Family Tree Center always seemed to many to be out of place along Main Street, one of the state’s top party destinations. High-end restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques surrounded the Family Tree Center.
The Family Tree Center, though, appeared to regularly draw people inside, some being church members wanting to learn about family histories and others being from different religions intrigued with the opportunity to learn about the church. It offered a location for the church to promote its broad genealogy program and missionaries were available at the location.
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