Park City family retains key real estate even after Treasure sale to City Hall
The Sweeney family starting in the mid-1950s amassed significant property holdings in Park City, putting the patriarch, Jack Sweeney, and eventually, his three sons in control of a swath of strategically placed Old Town land that would become crucial in the community’s debates about the expansion of the resort industry and the wider issue of growth.
It was Sweeney family land that was needed for Park City Mountain Resort to build the Town Lift. The family also held some of the key parcels as Main Street expanded northward in the 1990s, essentially creating a new stretch of the shopping, dining and entertainment strip.
The prize of the Sweeney family holdings, though, was always the Treasure hillside, a piece of ground that overlooks Old Town along the route of the Town Lift and a location that was identified in the 1980s for major development. City Hall recently acquired the land from the Treasure partnership — consisting of the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC — in a $64 million conservation deal that ended the discussions about a hotly disputed development proposal on the land. Park City voters funded most of the acquisition through a successful $48 million ballot measure in 2018.
But the City Hall acquisition of Treasure did not end the Sweeney family’s status as a major landowner in the Main Street core. The Sweeneys through business interests or through individual members retain well-established properties along lower Main Street or nearby that stretch of the street that ensure the family continues to hold a prominent role as a landowner in Park City even after the sale of Treasure itself to City Hall.
According to the family, the remaining holdings include:
• the commercial space now leased to the Bridge Café & Grill
• the commercial space now leased to Flying Sumo Sushi & Grill
• the commercial space now leased to the Main Street Gallery
• the commercial space now leased to The Cabin
• the commercial space leased to Park City Mountain Resort that houses a ticket office
• a majority of the square footage of the Town Lift deck. The Caledonian and PCMR also have ownership interests on the deck.
The Sweeney family also holds an ownership stake in the Town Lift garage alongside The Caledonian and PCMR. Pat Sweeney, one of three brothers with Mike Sweeney and Ed Sweeney, owns a house on King Road as well.
Pat Sweeney, who led the family’s Treasure development efforts prior to the conservation agreement with City Hall, said in an interview there are no current plans for the family to divest itself of the assets. At some point, though, he anticipates the properties will be sold as the brothers opt to retire from managing the locations. The brothers are in their late 60s or early 70s.
“When exactly? I don’t know,” Sweeney said. “At some point in time, the properties will be changing ownership.”
He said the holdings are “good commercial property.” The Treasure development was envisioned as approximately 1 million square feet with lodging and convention space in addition to commercial locations. It would have been connected to the family’s holdings along lower Main Street.
The Sweeney family and its partner, Park City II, LLC, saw the project as something that could further boost the value of the family’s other holdings as well as the wider Main Street economy. The properties, though, remain attractive even in the post-Treasure era with the Town Lift providing a reliable customer base in addition to the other visitors on Main Street. Sweeney said upgrades continue at the Town Lift deck, including replacing the surface.
“Right now, we’re going to hang on to the Town Lift base,” Sweeney said, adding, “We want to finish the renovation cycle and see where we’re at.”
Sweeney also said the family wants to retain its stake in the garage. It is one of the largest in the Main Street core and a holding that is believed to deliver a dependable revenue stream.
“The garage is really part of owning the property down there. They’re Siamese twins. They can’t be separated,” Sweeney said, explaining it is expensive to maintain the garage but the costs are worthwhile. “We’re happy to have that parking. Parking is hard to come by.”
If the Sweeney family puts the assets on the market someday, the properties would, taken together, represent one of the most significant real estate listings in the Main Street core in years.
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