Park City finds people see a ‘locals’ neighborhood,’ rather than a Main Street, in Bonanza Park

City Hall engagement efforts provide more evidence of the wide-ranging opinions about the district

Park City officials continue to gather a range of input about the future of City Hall-owned land off the intersection of Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard, shown in foreground. The talks about the municipal ground at the location are occurring alongside broader discussions about the surrounding Bonanza Park district. | Park Record file photo by David Jackson
Park Record file photo by David Jackson

Bonanza Park for years has been seen as a prime location in Park City for significant redevelopment.

It is centrally located. There are major roads nearby. And the land is generally flat, making it easier to build upon. The area also lacks historic buildings the influential preservation community would work to protect.

But with City Hall continuing to press forward with what has become a wide-ranging discussion about the future of the land, themes are becoming evident that seem to illustrate the desire of Parkites. The municipal government is amid talks about Bonanza Park as well as land within the district that is under the ownership of City Hall.

Bonanza Park covers 200 acres east of Park Avenue and on both sides of sections of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive. Tracts of the land are potential locations for major redevelopment. City Hall itself owns a 5-acre parcel in the larger Bonanza Park stretching inward from the southwest corner of the Bonanza Drive-Kearns Boulevard intersection.

The activity in recent months has been notable. Mayor Nann Worel and the Park City Council have held additional discussions, there was a well-attended open house, and the municipal government has collected an extraordinary amount of public input. The opinions were summarized in a submittal to the elected officials in late August as they were preparing to hold another discussion about Bonanza Park.

One of the crucial sections of the materials provided to the mayor and City Council outlined the key findings of the public-engagement efforts. The findings could ultimately have special significance since they are so broad in nature and appear to be an attempt to summarize the large amount of input received by City Hall.

The key findings cover topics like an interest in arts and culture being incorporated into the vision for the district and the possibility of the district becoming a draw for Parkites. They also touch on some of the topics that would be of importance to any development concepts for the land, as well as any City Hall planning process.

Some of the key findings, as outlined in the materials that were forwarded to the elected officials:

  • “Bonanza Park is a ‘Locals’ neighborhood’. Unlike Main Street, which mostly caters to tourists, Bonanza Park is where Parkites shop, dine, and gather.”
  • “Future redevelopment and infill should focus on creating a destination for locals. New businesses and destinations should be local and authentically Park City.”
  • “The community would like to see arts and culture woven into the neighborhood fabric. There are opportunities for public art, housing for artists, and galleries or exhibit spaces.”
  • “Parks and open spaces are a community priority. There is a need and desire for additional green spaces where locals can come together as a community.”
  • “Moving through the study area should be safer and more intuitive. Transportation improvements should focus on wide streets and unsafe intersections.”
  • “Bonanza Park is the right place for density and building height. As the area redevelops, mixed use buildings should embrace walkable streets.”
  • “Bonanza Park needs more affordable and workforce housing. For there to be a critical mass, there needs to be a strong resident base in the area.”
Park City is receiving a significant amount of input about the future of City Hall-owned land that stretches inward from one of the corners of the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive. Earlier Park City leaders envisioned an arts and culture district on the land, but the current set of elected officials are amid a discussion about the possibilities there. | Jay Hamburger/Park Record
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

The opinions provided to City Hall highlight the complexity of crafting a vision for the land. In the case of the 5-acre parcel owned by the municipal government, the partnership that controlled the land prior to the sale to City Hall encountered years of resistance as it unsuccessfully attempted to win a development approval. There were worries about the traffic, the height of the proposed buildings and design issues on such strategically located land.

City Hall acquired the parcel with the intent to develop an arts and culture district. The Kimball Art Center and the Utah offices of the Sundance Institute were seen at the time as the anchors. The current discussions are partly designed to determine if that sort of project remains preferred more than six years after the agreement to acquire the land and the concept of an arts and culture district were announced. 

The other ground covered in the Bonanza Park discussions, meanwhile, involves a patchwork of private-sector owners who will likely eventually bring differing opinions to the talks.


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