Park City wants firm to apply brushstrokes to arts district | ParkRecord.com

Park City wants firm to apply brushstrokes to arts district

Park City has prepared a canvas in Bonanza Park.

It now wants an architectural firm to add the brush strokes.

City Hall recently posted a document seeking architectural and engineering services as it continues to prepare to develop an arts and culture district. It is an important step since the firm that is hired will play an influential role in one of the municipal government's most ambitious projects. The architectural firm will lead the critical task of designing a development that leaders see as a signature project that will further broaden Park City's already respected arts and cultural landscape.

Proposals are due Dec. 1. City Hall had not received any submittals by Wednesday morning, as the long holiday weekend approached. It seems there could be interest from local, state and national firms since the project is a notable one in the arts and culture field. Anne Laurent, the community development director at City Hall and a staffer heavily involved in the discussions, said she has fielded inquiries about the posting from firms considering submitting a proposal.

Officials want to hire a firm to provide design, architectural and engineering services. The architectural services will center on the design and layout of the buildings in the district while the engineering services will involve designing a road network, parking locations and transit options. Laurent said the services sought by the municipal government are "all encompassing."

"We wanted a cohesive design. This piece of it is looking at the entire site," Laurent said.

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She said City Hall will later hire another firm to address traffic and transportation in Bonanza Park.

Park City leaders earlier in 2017 reached an agreement with the Bonanza Park partnership to acquire 5.25 acres in the district for $19.5 million. The land runs from the intersection of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive to the Kimball Art Center's temporary location and stretches inward from the intersection. City Hall intends to finalize the acquisition by the end of January and must conduct a detailed process meant to decide whether to press forward with an arts district prior to a closing.

Park City plans to negotiate agreements with the Kimball Art Center and the Sundance Institute to anchor a district. The Kimball Art Center envisions developing a permanent facility in the district after having sold the property along Main Street that traditionally housed the not-for-profit organization. The Kimball Art Center is currently operating in temporary quarters in Bonanza Park. The Sundance Institute, meanwhile, wants to move its Utah headquarters from Silver Star to the district.

The City Hall posting seeking architectural and engineering services outlines the Sundance Institute's interest in between 40,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet of space with offices, a theater and space for exhibits. The posting notes the Kimball Art Center's desire for a facility of between 30,000 square feet and 40,000 square feet with gallery space, studios and office space.

The posting also provides a detailed tentative schedule of the development process running from December until the fall of 2021. A contract for the architectural and engineering services would be awarded on Dec. 21 under the timeline, followed by the development of the schematics and designs through the summer of 2018. City Hall envisions securing planning and zoning approvals by the fall of 2018. A ground breaking could be scheduled in the spring of 2019 with construction running until the fall of 2021.

The process will be closely watched by a range of interests, including the influential Park City arts community and people who live or own property in the vicinity of the proposed district. The Bonanza Park partnership pursued a large redevelopment of the land that would be sold to City Hall, encountering resistance as critics worried about the height of the proposed buildings and the traffic a project would generate.

It is not clear whether the municipal government will encounter similar resistance. The arts district would not be as dense a project as the one proposed by the Bonanza Park partnership, but the posting describes that City Hall is also interested in commercial space meant to support the district, housing, parking and a transit hub. It seems likely people who live or have properties nearby could have concerns about traffic or the designs. The Park City Planning Commission, the panel that will consider a development application, is expected to spend significant time on similar topics.

There is not organized opposition to the overall plans to develop an arts district. City Hall recently held an open house that drew a crowd largely of supporters. People at the open house who left notes anonymously urged City Hall to create a funky district even as another person cautioned there is the potential of conflict between an arts district and people who live close to the location.