Park City real estate legend: ‘shocked and devastated’ by S.R. 248 idea
Jess Reid, a longtime figure in the Park City real estate industry, watched the community grow over the decades, as development continued at a solid clip and the traffic increased alongside the new projects in the area.
S.R. 248, with its western terminus outside the namesake Reid Building, has long been one of the traffic chokepoints in Park City. The section of S.R. 248 between the S.R. 224 intersection, which is just outside the Reid Building, and Quinn’s Junction regularly backs up with drivers headed into and out of Park City from parts of the Snyderville Basin, the East Side of Summit County and Wasatch County.
Reid is among those who are closely watching the Utah Department of Transportation as it outlines an idea for a major project along the S.R. 248 entryway that, according to state transportation officials, is needed to prepare for the projected traffic increases in coming years.
Reid attended an open house on Wednesday designed to provide information about a project. It appears there will be significant opposition to the state Department of Transportation plans, and a two-page correspondence written by Reid and sent to Mayor Andy Beerman, the Park City Council and City Hall staffers likely provides a preview of at least some of the concerns that will be broached.
Reid sent the correspondence on June 13, as talk of the Department of Transportation ideas were circulating. The Reid letter is tailored to the concerns about what he anticipates to be the impacts on the building, but the letter also highlights broader worries.
“I am shocked and devastated by what I was told. If this plan is approved, it will destroy the value of The Reid Building, eliminate open space and cause Park City to lose many businesses including my own that contribute greatly to our economy and tax base,” the Reid letter says.
According to Reid, the building would lose 25 parking spaces as S.R. 248 is expanded, or one-half of the spots. He says one of the primary ways in and out of the property will be eliminated.
“The highway would now be so close to the front of the building there would barely be room for a car to drive through,” the correspondence says.
Reid also says he has been told the building might need to be condemned to allow the road project and the state would “help with relocating the 12 businesses that are tenants in this building.” He questions whether there is space available to relocate the Reid Building tenants since there is little office space available in Park City.
The letter, meanwhile, says the project could extend into some of the space now occupied by the Olympic Welcome Plaza, where the land could be paved for parking to replace spots lost at the Reid Building.
“This proposal is not only devastating for me personally but also for anyone who would be operating at the Reid Building. I also feel strongly that this would be very bad for Park City,” Reid says.
Other points made in the letter include:
• “Both the city and the county have made it abundantly clear that they want to decrease the amount of vehicles coming into town not to increase them like UDOTs study says.”
• “Many visitors to our area compliment the town on how warm and beautiful this corner is especially in the winter when I have the largest lighted tree in town and the city has beautifully decorated the Olympic plaza with lights. Do you really want to lose this?”
• “The city promotes economic development in our town … and with this proposed highway you would hurt businesses in the Reid Building who are contributing to our economy.”
The Reid letter is likely an early example of the criticism the idea will generate during a public-comment period that is open until midnight on July 11. The open house on Wednesday provided an opportunity to submit written comments. Some of the attendees were seen spending time crafting their written comments.
The public-comment period ends on July 11. Comments may be submitted via an online form, udot.utah.gov/SR248improved/#comment-section, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be mailed to:
Lochner c/o SR-248 EA
3995 South 700 East, Suite 450
Salt Lake City, UT
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
The Project for Deeper Understanding on Tuesday seeks to start a dialogue among local leaders.