Park City readies demolitions to prepare land for arts district
Park City officials are preparing to hire a firm to demolish a series of buildings on City Hall-owned land where leaders intend to develop an arts and culture district, a step being taken even as other important decisions approach regarding what will be an especially ambitious municipal project.
There is a Dec. 10 deadline for firms to submit bids for the demolition work. Seven buildings will be razed as part of the preparation of the land for development. The demolitions are expected to begin in early 2021, depending on broader upcoming Park City Council decisions about the project. The demolitions will include the former location of Anaya’s Market, two storage buildings close to the former Anaya’s location, the former location of a car wash, the former location of a sporting-goods store, the onetime location of a health clinic and the building that currently houses the Kimball Art Center. The timeline for the demolition of the building that once housed a gas station is under consideration.
The highly visible land stretches inward from the southwest corner of the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive. City Hall acquired the 5.25 acres for $19.5 million with the intention of building an arts and culture district with the Kimball Art Center and the Utah offices of the Sundance Institute as the anchors.
The plan to develop a district remains intact, but the elected officials are scheduled to return to the topic shortly. Mayor Andy Beerman and the City Council at that time are expected to discuss a phasing plan, financing plan and the overall scope of an arts and culture district. The discussion will be held amid continuing concerns about the economic impact of the novel coronavirus and the effect of the illness on City Hall finances. Officials project a drop in tourism-related revenues like sales taxes this winter with there being so many worries about the spread of the coronavirus and travel.
City Hall in November outlined topics for a series of City Council meetings addressing the arts and culture district. The meetings are tentatively scheduled to start on Dec. 15. Another important meeting would involve the City Council considering a resolution about the future of the district, with staffers outlining resolution possibilities like proceeding with the first phase of construction in 2021, pausing the efforts until May or delaying the efforts for an unspecified amount of time. The tentative timeline runs through the middle of January, when the City Council could be asked to approve three agreements or contracts related to the arts and culture district.
It seems that preparations for a demolition could move forward even as the discussions are ongoing about the arts and culture district since the buildings would likely need to be removed under any of the scenarios since a redevelopment of some sort will be pursued.
The concept for the arts and culture district includes housing, transportation upgrades and a limited amount of commercial space like artist studios alongside the Kimball Art Center and the Sundance offices. City Hall earlier submitted an application to the Planning Department for the project. The Park City Planning Commission review has not started. A previous owner of the land encountered Planning Commission and public resistance while seeking a development approval.
Park City sees the district as something that would further solidify the community as a destination for arts and culture as well as help diversify the local economy from one that is heavily reliant on the ski industry.
“The Persian Version,” A feature film based on Maryam Keshavarz’s Iranian-American family, and “Kokomo City, a film that presents the stories following four Black transgender sex workers, were the darlings of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival awards ceremony Friday morning.
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