Park City Treasure developer readies scaled-back plans should bond fail
The Treasure partnership, like the rest of Park City, is awaiting Election Day.
If City Hall’s $48 million ballot measure is approved, most of the bond funds would be put toward a $64 million acquisition of the Treasure land in a conservation deal. The acquisition would end a development debate that has stretched since the 1980s.
But the partnership also is preparing for the chance Park City voters will reject the deal, a scenario that would trigger a condensed timeline leading to a Park City Planning Commission vote on Treasure. In that case, the Treasure partnership would pursue a project reduced by 10 percent from the blueprint that had previously been before the Planning Commission. The municipal government secured the 10 percent reduction through a $6 million down payment.
The Treasure side has spent time recently working on a redesign of the project taking into account a 10 percent reduction should the ballot measure fail. The redesign would be put before the Planning Commission shortly after Election Day. The partnership, consisting of the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC, has quietly crafted ideas for a redesigned project.
Pat Sweeney, who represents his family in the talks with the Planning Commission about the Treasure proposal, on Monday said the partnership has a “basic plan in place” that involves a 10 percent reduction.
“We’re prepared for the possibility the bond won’t pass, and that’s fine. We’re good with that,” Sweeney said.
He said the partnership will be “ready to roll” if the ballot measure fails.
The Treasure proposal that was most recently before the Planning Commission encompassed 948,730 square feet, not including another approximately 12,000 square feet of workforce housing.
According to Sweeney, a redesigned project to account for a 10 percent reduction would involve 903,648 square feet, including the workforce housing.
“It’s a slightly smaller horse, but it’s still a horse,” he said.
The square footage drop does not hit the 10 percent figure, Sweeney acknowledged. He explained the reduction required a cut in City Hall’s core planning element, known as unit-equivalents. A reduction in unit-equivalents does not necessarily lead to a precise corresponding drop in square footage, he said.
Sweeney described the reimagined concept as dropping approximately 40,000 square feet of residential space but adding the 12,000 square feet of workforce housing. Some of the other details include:
• redoing plans for the Treasure parking to account for the reduction
• reducing the south side of one of the buildings by two stories
• reducing three buildings by one story each
Sweeney said the building that would drop by two stories on the south side is the one most visible from Main Street. He said other reductions would be made to buildings closest to Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue.
“We tried to make it a little less impact for everybody, wherever you’re located,” he said.
Treasure is designed to appear as if it is a series of separate buildings. They would be linked through an underground garage, though.
If the ballot measure fails and the project returns to the Planning Commission, it seems likely the opposition to the Treasure development proposal would seize on issues similar to those that have persisted through the decade-plus of discussions.
The project critics say traffic headed to and from Treasure would overwhelm neighborhood roads like Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue, they claim the buildings would loom over Old Town and they worry the construction impacts would have effects on the quality of life in the neighborhood for years.
The Treasure land is located on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. The Sweeney family in the 1980s secured an overall development approval for the Treasure acreage and nearby parcels of land and later sold a 50 percent stake to Park City II, LLC to form the partnership.
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A group of people that appeared to largely represent Park City’s development and real estate industries joined family members of the late United Park City Mines President Hank Rothwell on Wednesday as a road was named in his honor. It was a tribute to a key figure in the great growth battles of the 1990s.