Park City takes steps toward developing more affordable housing
City Hall seeks an architect to assist in Old Town, on Kearns Boulevard
September 27, 2017
City Hall in the fall expects to take additional steps toward building two work force or otherwise affordable housing projects as leaders continue an aggressive program meant to offer opportunities for people to live inside the city who otherwise would be priced out of the market.
One of the projects is in Old Town while the other is just off Kearns Boulevard. The municipal government recently posted a document seeking a firm or firms to provide architectural services for the projects. It is an early part of the development process, but an important one since the architectural services will be critical as the detailed plans for the two locations are crafted. The firm or firms selected for the contract are expected to be heavily involved as officials prepare the necessary submittals to the Park City Planning Department. The Park City Planning Commission will eventually be presented the submittals for approval or denial.
The project just off Kearns Boulevard, located at 1875 Homestake Road, is especially notable. City Hall acquired the land from the Bonanza Park partnership for nearly $6 million after the partnership encountered resistance to its own plans to build on the parcel. City Hall refers to the land as 1875 Homestake, but it remains widely known as The Yard from its time under private ownership.
The posting indicates City Hall hopes to build between 50 and 60 units of housing at 1875 Homestake Road, a number that would make the project one of the most ambitious municipal housing developments. It says the units would be either townhomes or stacked flats. City Hall estimates the construction will cost $13 million. The municipal government expects to recoup much or all of the construction cost through the sales of the units.
The architectural work at 1875 Homestake Road will likely set a tone as officials attempt to win a Planning Commission approval. The Bonanza Park partnership at one point sought to develop the land with 36 residential units spread through five buildings. The proposal involved a combination of townhomes and smaller units. The Planning Commission cast a preliminary vote in favor of the project, but it appeared there would have been numerous questions during the subsequent approval process. Traffic and the overall designs were of note during the earlier talks about the parcel.
A City Hall project of between 50 and 60 units will likely encounter some of the same questions once it is presented to the Planning Commission. Traffic will almost certainly be scrutinized given the size of the project and the location so close to busy Kearns Boulevard. The designs, though, could appease some critics if they are less prominent than those proposed by the Bonanza Park partnership.
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The other project is planned on municipal property on the 1300 blocks of Woodside Avenue and Empire Avenue, including the location of the Park City Senior Center. It is known as the second phase of Woodside Park. The project is envisioned as two townhouse buildings and another building of stacked units. City Hall estimates the development will cost $17 million.
Proposals from architectural firms are due Oct. 5. A contract will be presented to the Park City Council in the fall. The eventual construction contract will be far larger than the one for the architectural services.
Park City leaders are pursuing a broad housing agenda that involves projects in Bonanza Park, Woodside Park and elsewhere. They see the work force or otherwise affordable housing as having benefits like ensuring socioeconomic diversity in Park City and reducing commuter traffic. Park City's resort real estate market has driven many rank-and-file workers out of the city limits.