Park City mayor says Treasure partner is straightforward
December 19, 2017
The Sweeney family, the traditional owner of the Treasure land overlooking Old Town, may sell its 50 percent stake in the acreage to City Hall.
If that deal, dependent on a ballot measure, is finalized, the holder of the other 50 percent stake in Treasure would become the developer of a scaled-back project.
The Sweeney family's partner is a firm known as Park City II, LLC. Many people in Park City are familiar with the Sweeney family, a prominent name and the developer of the Town Lift Plaza, but only a few likely have knowledge of Park City II, LLC or its leader, a part-time Park City resident named Elizabeth Rad.
Park City II, LLC and Rad would hold a greatly expanded role if City Hall acquires the Sweeney family's stake in Treasure should voters in Park City pass a ballot measure. Officials intend to purchase the Sweeney family's interest for $30 million in a move that would reduce the breadth of the overall development. The deal would largely be funded by a $24 million ballot measure that would be put to voters in November of 2018.
At that point, if the ballot measure passes, Park City II, LLC would be left as the developer of a reworked Treasure project. Park City II, LLC has largely been the silent side of the Treasure partnership. Although the firm is represented at Park City Planning Commission meetings about Treasure, it is typically the Sweeney family that addresses the panel.
Park City II, LLC acquired the 50 percent share in late 2006 from other investors who had partnered with the Sweeney family in the 1970s, a representative of the Sweeney family has said. In the more than 10 years since, Rad has held a behind-the-scenes role in the Treasure discussions.
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"I think she's incredibly gracious, straightforward," Mayor Jack Thomas said about Rad, indicating he has met her or spoken to her over the phone numerous times and describing her as transparent, open and honest.
Under the agreement, if the ballot measure is approved, Park City II, LLC would pursue a development involving a boutique hotel and 18 houses. The Treasure iteration that has been under review for more than a decade involves upward of 1 million square feet. It has drawn broad opposition. The reimagined project would involve far less development than the current one.
"I think, philosophically, she's looking for a dramatically smaller project," the mayor said, adding, "Her vision is more consistent with the vision of Park City – smaller scale, less impact to the site."
Rad splits her time between New York City, Utah and Florida, Craig Call, an attorney who represents Park City II, LLC, said. She is the managing partner of a separate firm that owns the Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa outside of Moab.
"It's been a long-term investment . . . had a long-term vision," Call said about Rad's interest in Treasure, explaining that she "really fell in love" with Park City when she visited.
Call touted the benefits of a reimagined project on the Treasure acreage, located on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. He said the land continues to present "challenging terrain," but a smaller project could fit. He said a hotel at the location could be designed to be approximately 25 percent of the size of the one now proposed. It is "a lot easier to design" a hotel that is not as large as the one that is sought under the current application, he said.
"It is a pleasure to be looking at a less intensive use of the hillside," Call said.